The highest literacy rates worldwide, free universal healthcare, social security, strong economies — These are traits commonly associated with the Nordic countries. They also reflect the equally renowned, well-developed system of education available to the residents of each country.
Despite the similarities, each country’s education system is distinct, thanks to their differing historical experiences and shifts in political climates. And the complexities of each system unfold neatly on pages of the school textbooks that have been used in each country throughout this time.
In this episode, Merethe Roos and Henrik Edgren, two of the editors of Exploring Textbooks and Cultural Change in Nordic Education 1536–2020 talk about delving deep into the centuries-old history of the education systems in the Nordic countries through their school textbooks, right from the era of the Reformation in the 16th century and through the subsequent educational acts that shaped the systems in each country. Their book encapsulates the rich academic traditions in each country and highlights the role that textbooks have had to play in building each nation by influencing national cultural politics and legislation.
This episode is a part of a new special series by Brill, which focuses on Brill’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each episode is related to a specific SDG. This episode covers SDG 4: Quality Education.
Brill's Humanities Matter podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.