Nordic Modes of Bildung, Schooling, and Upbringing - The interplay between individualism, collectivism, and institutionalised lives
This conference will be organised in collaboration between two UiO:Nordic projects “The Nordic Education Model” and “Living the Nordic Model”.
(Bilde: Adobe Stock)
Images of modern Nordic societies are often paradoxical: Strongly socially cohesive but renowned for their liberal social values; Equal rights and opportunities for all blended with collective demands and duties; Strong trust and solidarity but less responsibility for helping your neighbour.
The Nordic countries have historically shown both strong collectivist traits epitomised in social democratic concepts like “folkhemmet” (S) or expressions like “raising a building together” (DK) as well as strong individualist traits of universalised individual rights to social goods and services. In the Nordic model of education ideals of a common “folkskola” and of “folkeoplysning/folkbildning” have included both more communitarian as well as more individualistic conceptualisations of “dannelse” (Bildung).
In the field of education individuals are currently urged to optimise their contribution to society. Lifelong learning under the banner of employability is no longer just a possibility but has almost turned into a duty. The strong “welfare states” make equality more possible – but does the turn to strong “competition states” also indicate a new more coercive collectivism?
In the light of these tensions, we aim in this conference at examining historical and current ideals, practices, and institutions related to the formative aspects of Nordic citizens’ lives—their childhoods, parenting values, schooling, education, and lifelong learning. We invite researchers that are engaged in the study of the institutions and arenas in which children and youth are brought up and educated. How have aims and expectations changed over time both in the Nordic settings and worldwide? Are there specific Nordic traditions in Bildung, education, and upbringing? Are they more rooted in common ideals of equality and communitarianism than in other Western and global societies? How are these ideals expressed, justified, and institutionalised in a more globalised era?