Speaking from the stomach? Ventriloquised ethnocentrisms about Finnish education

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Simpson , A & Dervin , F 2017 , ' Speaking from the stomach? Ventriloquised ethnocentrisms about Finnish education ' , Educational Practice and Theory , vol. 39 , no. 1 , pp. 5-29 . https://doi.org/10.7459/ept/39.1.02

Title: Speaking from the stomach? Ventriloquised ethnocentrisms about Finnish education
Author: Simpson, Ashley; Dervin, Fred
Contributor organization: Department of Education
Date: 2017-04
Language: eng
Number of pages: 25
Belongs to series: Educational Practice and Theory
ISSN: 1323-577X
DOI: https://doi.org/10.7459/ept/39.1.02
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/232469
Abstract: In recent years the words ‘Finnish education’ are accompanied by utterances of ‘an education miracle’, ‘the best education system’, ‘a success’ and a number of other adjectives and superlatives to ‘describe’ education in Finland. While Finland’s PISA ranking has declined media interest and discourses on ‘Finnish education’ have not relented. Seemingly, Finland’s educational system is as popular as it has ever been. Finland’s education system is viewed with ‘international admiration’ yet behind these discourses are a number of discursive contradictions. Using the discursive concept of ventriloquism (Tannen 2010; Cooren, 2014) we show how ‘Finnish education’ has become ventriloquised – when ‘Finnish education’ is uttered a number of automatically generated responses are uttered by speakers. In this sense, discourses on ‘the success of the Finnish education system’ act as prevailing meta-discourses. We argue that, behind these constructs, can too easily lie ventriloquised discourses reinforcing and (re)producing Finnish ethnocentrisms, intercultural ignorance and a lack of regard for the other. Through analysing the discourses of specific educators and academics on ‘Finnish education’ we show that behind the ‘hype’ and meta-discourses on the Finnish education system lie possible sentiments of (hidden) ethnocentrisms, (hidden) xenophobia, and (hidden) racism.
Subject: 516 Educational sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: draft

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