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Denmark: Contracts and Evidence-Based Best Practice

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Foundations for national education governance can be found in history and context. Cul-tures and policies emerge historically in collaboration and interactions with other states and transnational alliances. In the case of Denmark, we see historical relations with Nordic countries and contemporary relations with transnational agencies like the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). We also see the emergence of diverse societal and educational paradigms like a welfare state with democratic education and a competitive state with aims- and outcomes-based education.

Beginning with a short walk over Nordic relations in the Middle Ages, the chapter focuses on fundamental societal change in the post-World War II era.
Through an analysis of Danish cultural history, formation of the welfare state and education discourse of general non-affirmative education/Democratic Bildung, we find strong com-mon trends in values and – although less so – in practices that characterise the core of Danish society, governance and education: believing in and striving for democracy and local autonomy with self-activity, and the struggle to make all levels of society develop into less unequal communities that respect other people and communities.
Another line of analysis looks into globalization, transnational agencies, formation of the competition state and education policy. Here we also find identical trends. The market-place logics are found in the transnational thinking and initiatives, in the move of states from a welfare state to a state competing for success in the global marketplace. New con-ceptions of government in nation states change into conceptions of governance on the basis of policy networks. One of the social technologies used for this movement is the contract, which is very commonly used in Denmark as well as management by objective and management by outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhat Works in Nordic School Policies? : Mapping Approaches to Evidence, Social Technologies and Transnational Influences
EditorsJohn Benedicto Krejsler, Lejf Moos
Place of publicationCham
Publication year2021
ISBN (print)978-3-030-66628-6
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-66629-3
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Danish school policy, transnational policy, Nordic-ness, evidence, governance, contracts

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