Innovation, Recreation, Interpretation? A Case Study on the Origins and Implementation of Transversal Core Competencies in Finnish Basic Education Core Curriculum Reform 2016

Jyrki Loima


This qualitative study on the Finnish basic education curriculum (2016) had two goals. First, to survey the origins of first two new curriculum competences: 1) thinking and learning to learn, and, 2) cultural competences. Second, to analyse the local curricular implementation and comprehension in a rapid socio-cultural change. To reveal the possible data trends, two research questions were addressed: 1. What was the background of first two 2016 transversal core competencies? 2. How were those competencies implemented into a local curriculum 2016-19? The Data included basic education curricula (1985-2016), and a local curriculum. Relevant legislation, official information (e.g. PISA), parental feedback, and a questionnaire to an anonymous implementing principal comprised the curricular data. The Data triangulation was completed with a wide range of educational, cultural and ideological research. Regarding ethics, the individual sources and educational provider remained anonymous. Findings were surprising. “Modern” thinking and learning skills were created in early 20th century American society by Deweyan comprehension. However, an immigration had changed the long-lasting interpretation on the origins of Finnish culture. Moreover, local curriculum implementation was more successfully comprehended and supported. Conclusions were obvious: more identifiable research and teachers’ training were needed for curricular reforms and competences. The socio-cultural comprehension in the era of AI asked for sound arguments.


Curriculum, Core Competences, Thinking and Learning, Culture, Comprehension and Interpretation

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