A solution to what? Aims and means of implementing informatics-related subjects in Sweden, Denmark, and England

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Based on policy borrowing (Cowen, 2009; Steiner-Khamsi, 2016), this paper studies the political rationales of curriculum revisions with regard to informatics in Danish, Swedish, and English compulsory school. The paper also studies how these rationales are converted into concrete curriculum revisions and implementation strategies in the three countries. Empirically, the paper is based on policy documents, research papers, and reports from the three nations and interviews with 10 experts who were part of, or knowledgeable about, the implementation processes in the respective countries. The study finds that, in spite of all three countries targeting the internationally agreed-upon challenge of preparing students to participate in a digitised society, the national policy aims vary substantially. In Denmark, the curriculum revisions aimed to educate critical, democratic citizens. Revisions in England were related to a strong push from the IT industry and an aim to reclaim the historical role of being tech pioneers, and Sweden was oriented towards creating equal digital competencies across demographic and socioeconomic factors. In spite of such relatively clear-cut political rationales, the paper also finds that the initiatives launched to meet the rationales are highly nationally situated, and, to some extent, contingent. In that respect, the paper argues that the policy revisions in all three countries rather are products of what was possible or mere chance than of painstaking planning.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Didactica Norden
Issue number4
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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