Laclauian Reflections on the Politics of Education and Finnish Education Policy

This is Tuomas Tervasmäki’s PhD research project. The purpose of the research is twofold. The first objective is to analyse the political and ideological dimensions of educational institutions, settings and practices. The second objective focus on methodological implementation of Political discourse theory in the field of educational research. The discourse theory (or ideology and discourse analysis, IDA) is a theoretical framework and methodology based on the political philosophy of Ernesto Laclau (1935–2014) and his successors. The aim is to examine what kind of new explanatory perspectives the theory can offer in understanding educational phenomena and to investigate possible problems and limitations which may arise through such implementation.

The research will be conducted through four case studies which fall into two thematic categories: 1. The logics of university work and higher education policy. 2. Inclusion and exclusion in educational practices.

Publications related to this project:

Tiina Nikkola & Tuomas Tervasmäki (2020): Experiences of arbitrary management among Finnish academics in an era of academic capitalism, Journal of Education Policy

Tervasmäki, T. 2018. Tasa-arvoa yksilö vai yhteisö edellä? Perusopetuksen opetussuunnitelman perusteiden 2014 tasa-arvokäsitys. Teoksessa Risto Rinne, Nina Haltia, Sonia Lempinen & Tuuli Kaunisto (toim.) Eriarvoistuva maailma – tasa-arvoistava koulu? Kasvatusalan tutkimuksia. Jyväskylä: Suomen Kasvatustieteellinen Seura, 123–144. 

Tervasmäki, T., Okkolin, M-A, Kauppinen, I. 2018. Changing the heart and soul? Inequalities in Finland’s current pursuit of a narrow education policy. Policy Futures in Education. Published online first.