The Nordic countries

Authored by: Bente E. Hagtvet

The Routledge International Handbook of early Literacy Education

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138787889
eBook ISBN: 9781315766027
Adobe ISBN: 9781317659204


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The ‘Nordic countries’ are often perceived as a homogeneous unit of geographically close and politically and economically stable countries that share social democratic values rooted in a shared history and culture. While this is not wrong, it ignores significant political, economic and geographical differences that make it misleading. This chapter discusses some of their qualities and how they relate to early literacy education. These countries’ policies and practices are then addressed, with a contrastive view on Norway and Finland. Finally, I will raise some concerns about future resources in the increasingly complex and multicultural learning communities of the Nordic preschools and schools.

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