Knowledge on the Nordics

Migrant Children in the Nordics: A Conversation on Schooling

January 28, 2021 Season 1 Episode 9
Knowledge on the Nordics
Migrant Children in the Nordics: A Conversation on Schooling
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In current times, schools are often hot spots for education policy initiatives driven by party politics. Encounters between the majority ethnic group and newcomer children can be exaggerated or underplayed depending on the political context, and it can be a highly contested area.

In this nordics.info podcast, the head of Aalborg University’s Centre for Education Policy Research, Mette Buchardt, gives a historical overview of developments in Denmark in comparison with the other Nordic countries from the 1950s until today. In so doing, the conversation necessarily covers wider issues, such as, the division between state and church; the use of schooling in molding citizens of the (Nordic) welfare state; and that persistent question: how to create the same provision for all when children have varying needs?

Find further reading and a biography of the participant by clicking here.


Mette Buchardt:

The whole way of building the nation state as a political project in the 19th century was of course trying to use curriculum to build identities. So identity politics is a central concept, if you want to understand the political history of Europe and Northern Europe, and not least, the history of education systems.

Nicola Witcombe:

That was the voice of Mette Buchardt, head of Aalborg University Center for Education Policy Research. She is an interdisciplinary historian who is particularly interested in the interface between education policy, religion and migrants. She is interested in both what goes on in the teachers common room, national politics, as well as overriding international pressures and trends. Mette is ideally placed to help us to find out more about the topic of today's podcast, namely the schooling of migrant children in Denmark and the Nordics. Nordics.info is a research dissemination website based on Aarhus University in Denmark, and publishes material by researchers on many different aspects of the Nordic countries within the social sciences and humanities. Nordics.info as part of the university hub, Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World (ReNEW). Historically speaking, the education systems in the Nordic countries are based on a model of providing the same level of education for all and creating social cohesion so students grow up to be good citizens of the welfare state. But what if you are a child of a migrant and you don't understand the majority language? And what political and cultural questions have been asked as a result of these issues? These and others are some of the issues that Mette and I Nicola Witcombe, the editor of Nordics info, went into in more detail in an interview in October 2020. So thank you very much Mette for being with us today. And to start with, could you explain what areas you have focused on within research generally?

Mette Buchardt:

I have two main specialization areas, and one of them what we are going to talk about today, namely, how migration became a part of education politics, in relation to the Nordic model, following the start of the guest worker era, in the end of the 60s, and under that area, my main research has been in the case of Denmark, but also, but also it has related to an especially Northern European perspective. My other area is dating longer back. I'm doing research in secularization and religious modernism and how it influenced the modernisation of the European states. But a similarity between the two areas is of course, the question about what is expected to be a problem? What is expected from a citizen? What is expected for that you live up to in a cultural, less religious sense. And a theme which goes across my two areas are definitely the way religion more and more became a cultural question during the 20th century. Having a history back to some completely central processes in European modernization, but having new and different consequences when you have to integrate new citizens, people arriving as guest workers increasing amount of people coming as refugees to Europe, which happened from especially the 70s onwards, which expectation and which ways to view those new citizens and which regional role does religion and culture play in that context? That's broadly the connection between my two also quite different areas. And then you can see my research interest is the connection between education reform and broader social reform in modern European history.

Nicola Witcombe:

Super, thanks very much. It all sounds fascinating, and there's lots to unpick there in the podcast, I'd like to start with something that you mentioned that it sounds like significant in immigration only really started in the Nordic countries in the late 60s, early 70s with the guest workers, you've been talking about. What effect did this have on schools and the policies surrounding education in the Nordic countries, or Denmark, if you'd prefer to just focus on there and then going forward?

Mette Buchardt:

A preliminary point is that, of course, migration dates back much, much longer back, as a migration has, of course, all always been a part of how Europe became Europe and constructed itself. And if we even take migration in a more concentrated sense, let's say, from the beginning of the 19th century onwards, we do know that as in the 18th century, there has been Protestant in migration, religious refugees, we had a Jewish migrants coming increasingly during the 19th century from from Russia and Poland. We are having so called Vienna kids. Now we go closer to schooling, coming in the aftermath of World War 1 because of famine in Vienna. Those kids sent directly into Danish schooling, we are having the so called Finnebrn (Finland kids) coming in different waves, but for instance, in the aftermath of World War 2, and so on. And what is interesting is that we can, we actually can find sources about, for instance, the Vienna children and the Finnish children. But what is remarkable is that it's not the political history, and it's not the policy history, which leaves traces after those new groups of population. And actually, quite a lot of the Finnish kids stayed in Denmark became adopted. And, what we have left is mainly letters and diaries. Bottom line is, it never became a problematized area and thus not an area for politics. If we go up to the 50s, we have the refugees coming from Hungary after the Soviet or the Bashar the pact invasion in '56. That becomes the beginning of the Danish welfare states and NGO infrastructure around receiving refugee Danish Refugee Council, Danish Red Cross are really having a formative organizational period here. And of course, this refugee waves are including children, but still, it's not problematized. We know so little about what happened when they went into schools. But what is definitely a pattern from what we can see inferences, letters and diaries is that the usual thing is, the children were just sent into the schooling system. And then they had to learn the medium language, Danish, and most likely after a while they did so it never became an issue. What is changing in the Danish political history is that in the end of the 60s, more specifically in 1969, municipalities, especially the big cities, especially Copenhagen, but also for instance Aarhus, is actually starting to send letters approaching the Minister of Education saying, there are an increasing amount of children who doesn't speak Danish, which are entering the Danish folkeskole (the Danish public school), what are we going to do with them? Are we supposed to school them? And should we demand and find kids which are not necessarily coming to school to get them schooled? It's more question of the school obliged to receive those children? What are we to do with them? And should we make ourselves accessible for other families, which are not necessarily sending their children to school? Those are questions. And in the US, which follows the Ministry of Education and the macro political level, a more and more we're starting to have to find solutions of that question. So you can say one question is actually Yeah, of course, there are the guest workers In the press and the political system, they are not seen as women. They're not seen as families. They were we know that today, many women came single women, many families came. But the picture is this single man maybe married at home coming to Copenhagen, very much modernity style, this guy was not seen as a traditionalist or guy coming in from the countryside, no, no, it was modernity to come to Copenhagen, but he was not seen as something who brought children with him, which he did.

Nicola Witcombe:

That is interesting, as you've just, you've just undercut two commonly held assumptions, I guess, in my view, namely, that immigration only really started in the 1960s, with the guest workers. And that the wave of guess workers were only male and did not take partners and children with them.

Mette Buchardt:

So from the beginning of the 70s, we are having an increasing political effort how to handle this new group in this population, which might not, after all have been that new. But the new thing is that they are discovered by education, political debate.

Nicola Witcombe:

Was it mandatory for them actually, to attend public schools? Or what was the politics around that time 1960s 1970s in relation to school being mandatory or not?

Mette Buchardt:

The Danish school laws, and it has been like that for centuries, actually, is that it's, it is mandatory to receive instruction. And that instruction has to live up to the same standard as the standard of the public school. But schooling does not have to take place in public school, it can take place in preschool, or the parents or other can provide the instruction. But the instruction has to be provided on the same level. So there's a certain amount of freedom, which is actually an exceptional plural and bottom up strategy also for Nordic country to be. But on the other hand, it's mandatory for the public school to provide instruction. So the questions were that very much concerned about the obligations of the public school in this context? Do we really have to take those children in? The answer was yes.

Nicola Witcombe:

Okay, great.

Mette Buchardt:

And what are we going to do with them because they don't speak English. We know, as historians that this is, technically it's impossible for that to be a new situation. But this is where the municipalities and the school inspectors and like that are discovering the situation and start moving on it, and asking the Minister of Education for help.

Nicola Witcombe:

Thank you very much for that wide historical context. Could you highlight some of the predominant issues or trends in the area, and that history has sort of influenced the situation that has come about in Denmark or the Nordic countries generally, since 2000?

Mette Buchardt:

There are definitely some major differences in the way things have developed, not only in relation to micro politics, in politics towards migrants in the education system, but also migration politics in general, across the Nordic state. You can see that a similarity, which goes across all five countries, is that there's this main idea which developed since the end of the 19th century about having a comprehensive education system where everybody should be able to access the highest level of education when entering the the people school, which in different versions, you can find in all five countries in question. So that also means that we're talking about an education system model, which is valuing equity and to some extent, also similarity. And when we turn to the case of Denmark, that was actually one of the main elements which became a challenge for Danish education politics in the 70s because how on the one hand, are you keeping up a system where equity and sometimes interpretations of equity, which is very close to similarity? How do you keep up that as this traditional center left idea about how to use the education system in order to create a welfare state, when you also need to see that there are children who need specific instruction, specific support, very concretely, they have to learn to be limited in language. So that was so to say, the first major education political question, which had to be handled in the education system, from a parliamentary level and out to the teachers' lounge and in the classroom. And a model which developed and it developed bottom up actually, was to create so called 'reception classes' where a newly arrived children as children newly arrived to Denmark and newly arrived to the education system had a couple of months or a year depending on what was necessary to actually learn Danish and then to be integrated in so called normal classes after that. And that reception model developed especially in the Copenhagen municipalities, not least at a school called Sjllandsgade School at Nrrebro in Copenhagen. And Copenhagen municipality placed actually a specific office for dealing with what was called at that time foreign children. So an expertise were built there, which also the Ministry of Education invested in and used a lot. So this is also a very good example of this bottom up way of developing policies, which are common all over in the Nordic states. But where my guess is that not least, Danish educational politics has very much developed bottom up.

Nicola Witcombe:

Good, I just ask, what roughly what date was that?

Mette Buchardt:

The model starts to develop in the beginning of the 70s. And in the middle of the 70s. it is stipulated not as mandatory, but as a main recommendation for the Ministry of Education for the municipalities and schools. So let's say the first part of the 70s, it is very much requested about how to handle students who need to find a medium language. From the middle of the 70s and up until the beginning of the 80s, a question of culture starts to develop. And this is actually where the debate becomes less concrete, but also intensified. Part of the explanation is definitely that a lot of young academics will anthropology degrees, and like that are really investing heavily professionally in this area. And they bring the category of culture from cultural anthropology and sociology and like that, but it's not only question about that, it's also a question about that migration is increasingly becoming problematized. And the discovery of not only children, but also women is actually starting to change the political and public opinion above migrants, less interpreting migrants as a symbol of modernity coming from the plane and the airport. And much more seeing migrants as coming from traditional culture, in conflict with modern society, meaning Denmark. So the whole scheme around modernity and tradition is changing. In the beginning of the sermon sentences, it's actually much more leaning on Denmark being a bit in provincial anomaly modernity comes and then the pictures change into that guest workers and refugees are bringing tradition into the modern state, modern society of Denmark. And from the beginning of the 80s this is also connected to some important geopolitical changes which are shifting as we are talking about the Cold War period. Cold War was in Denmark, as in all other European states, not to mention state, of course, not least interpreted from a politics of interior perspective. And the new elements which come into the pupil, geopolitical way of doing interior political debate, is the civil war in Lebanon. It is the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. And it's the Islamic Revolution in Iran, or the revolution in Iran, which is very quickly airframe by a Islamic even though it doesn't start out only as that. So that means that Islam becomes a geopolitical factor. Now, it's not only a question about east and west, which, since the years after WW2 has been very important political positions, also for interior politics and Denmark, now comes a new factor, whereas with police that, and what we should remember today is that Islam is actually for many debaters, and politicians, not the enemy is actually the Allied. Because in Afghanistan, the Soviet which is an enemy of the NATO states is fighting Muslim Islamic freedom fighters. So there, Islam is an allied, on the other hand, the teocratic dictatorship government regime in Tehran, in Iran, is fighting the US and the West. So there's a confusion around it. But what is consistent is that Islam becomes a factor, which you need to relate to politically, not only do politically, but also with regard to interior politics. And the same year, the worldwide women's conference was taking place in Copenhagen. Meaning that increasing intention to the attention to the question of women and Islam is entering the agenda. So that means actually, that you can see it is the discovery of children and women, which very much lead to what in the 80s become a cultural problem of migrants is lagging behind Danish modernity. So it's not only a question about language anymore, it is maybe less and less a question of language, which the professional unions for teaching bilingual children which has been established in the 70s or they're frustrated about but it's very much becomes a question about about culture and culture is someone lacking culturally back. And then we are having the 90s where on the one hand, a cultural trend is happening in the whole way of doing education politics; Christianity, which has in the 70s been pushed back, teaching of Christianity has to be objective, and in the 90s, Christianity is coming back to school as cultural heritage of the Danish state and also in increasing focus on getting knowledge about the culture of getting new cultural knowledge of other cultures and the culture of the migrants is coming up. So, migration is more and more also in an educational sense, concentrated on culture and less on skills and language. And if we are going to take that up to the two towers after September 11, where Islam is becoming a highly problematized a political category enemy of freedom of speech in Syria bias tied to increased to higher rates of criminal behavior and like that, then we are actually ending up with words as Muslims and different culture and like that very often in education, political debate, used as the same as liking back in skills. So we are seeing a development from a more simple discovery; "hey, we are actually having children who doesn't understand medium language, maybe we should try different strategies to learn the medium language within do that before, but we need to do that now." And then the 2000s were the teaching of not only migrant pupils, but also like third generation children of migrants are highly problematized area in schooling, where eventually lacking back in school achievement is very often connected to factors as terror, Islam as political entity, culture as a hierarchical entity with someone having listed other cultures than others.

Nicola Witcombe:

That's great. Just a couple of follow up questions. So that decision to make reception classes that format is still used today in Denmark, is it not?

Mette Buchardt:

I mean, reception classes when they're mandatory, it was just the general recommended model, unless the percentage of children were so small in a little municipality, that it didn't make sense to do it. And this, you can see, the central way of working with practice education politics have led to that today, an other model becomes dominating, namely the so called the Hrsholm model, which is integration of students as soon as possible. And then this Danish second language teaching perspective, has to be included in daily live classes, very much in line with that inclusion politics in general has been passed in schooling, meaning that children with special needs also have to be present in so called normal school classes. So it's not that it's forbidden to do a reception class model, but the Hrsholm model for immediate integration becomes more and more widespread. And then we're actually trying to study how such mechanism works. What happens when a new model becomes the widespread one, which factors that lead to the practice, municipal and local education, politics are changing like that.

Nicola Witcombe:

Interesting. And just another follow up question, I didn't, you said there's a conference on women, which sort of brought the attention of women. Was that in the 1980s?

Mette Buchardt:

That was the beginning of the 1980s. Yeah. And it was in Copenhagen and find that also in Denmark, the press were extremely interested in it. I remember it. So but it also let an interior debate through an increased problematization of the Muslim woman as maybe more suppressed than other women. Which again, contributed to an increased focus on migrants as more backwards than other people. And migrants does very much increasingly attach to the category of, I would rather call it Muslim less, because it's not about Islam as a practice religion or spirituality. It's more like a cultural category. And this, of course, also led to that the many other groups of migrants, Chilean refugees, Polish refugees, Chinese migrants were hardly overlooked, but where else and very, very diverse group of people for many, many different backgrounds, many different nations, a very broad combination of people being political refugees or guest workers and like that, were also squeezed into the same category of Muslim migrants.

Nicola Witcombe:

Yes, I mean, that that whole debate is often referred to in sort of academia later on as intersectionality. And I don't think we've really got time to go into that, because it's a massive, massive issue. So let's just acknowledge it was, and is a massive issue and just maybe move on. Because there are so many interesting questions here, but we can't cover everything. So Mette, in the 1990s, as far as I understand it, the terminology often discussed racism, where is it increasing, increasingly changed, as you've referred to, to Islamophobia and religion after the year 2000. Was that shift discernible in the education sector? Or do you agree with that summary of how things were?

Mette Buchardt:

I would say Islamophobia never became In a pedagogical category, or an area where where specific education traditions focused in a Danish context. In the 70s, there were actually in the Danish society, you can see that from media but also a bit from pedagogical journals and the period there was definitely an awareness, a focus on racism. In the 80s, anti-racist education as tradition is worked on in Denmark. If you compare it to what happened in UK and Canada, it looks very much like multicultural education looked in those countries it was very much about cultural tolerance like that. But the wording which were used were anti-racist education. And that moves in the 90s and become much more a question of what is called 'Flerkulturelundervisning' (education on various cultures). So there was a fight among teachers who want to have more resources for working in this area, which are critical about central education, politics, they are, if they are working for Flerkulturelundervisning', it could be translated multicultural education, but FLIR is a bit different, but clear cultural, and whatever. And then for improved language, teaching it within a bilingual perspective, which is taking the children's quick requisites in other languages as a resource and not as a problem like that. So in the two towers, it seems that it is very, very difficult to discuss racism in a Danish educational context. Whereas the 2010's, especially the last couple of years, has led to an increased renewed interest in anti-racist teaching, there are research projects focus on it, there are more writing about it. And it's definitely also social movements, such as Black Lives Matters (BLM), which has a which has opened the space for that again. But I see also other sentences like it's actually also like an achievement interest and management interest. And if we can develop more less racist organizational practices, we can receive better results. So it's also part of an interest in it optimizing the result of education. So this has been the development, yes. So it's an acknowledgement that diversity and dealing with what could either be termed problems or advantages of diversity actually feed into better educational results? Yeah, as you can see, that when you look at it in this cynical historical perspective, which me and my team are doing, then the ideas about culture in the 80s and 90s, the so called mono-culturalists, and the multiculturalists, their perception of culture doesn't look that different. So there was a difference in attitude do we like it or not? But the whole perceptions about culture as the central category were common. And I mean, in 2010s, we are moved education, pedagogy and education, politics, and maybe moving a little away from this question of culture, and more into the perspective of achievement and even anti-racist awareness as a way to optimize. It's not settled yet, but it's starting a bit, I think.

Nicola Witcombe:

So we've been talking about large trends and tendencies. I wonder if we could zoom in on a couple of concrete examples from your research. And we've dealt with monocultures and the fact that many different immigrants have been shoved it with into this label of Muslim but we haven't dealt with the existing religions, which I understand to be predominantly Lutheran societies in the Nordic countries. And are you able to give some examples of how the interplay between the existing Lutheran society and different religions have played out in educational settings?

Mette Buchardt:

Absolutely. I also think it is a very interesting perspective question to add to the history of welfare state education politics in relation to migrants, because as you very rightly expressed, we haven't talked about religion in itself. We have talked about how categories from a religion has been transformed and changed into categories to understand migrants and migrant students. But what about the religions? What about religious institutions? And which impact does the role of religious institutions in the Nordic welfare states have to the question about newcomers? This is actually a super interesting question. To understand that, I think it's important to state that, in a broad sense, especially Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, they'll have similar markets, for on the one hand keeping religion meaning Christianity as a central part of state crafting, but making it state controlled, and making it more like a resource that the state could work with and control. So I mean, all European states in the end of the 19th century are fighting with the question of urban poverty, and social difference, and the role of religion as this goes true, and very often, these three questions are interconnected. And very often it's solved through education system, so it is connected together. And you can say France chooses this model about radical separation between religion and society, not least to separating religion out of public school. Denmark, Norway and Sweden chose a similar model. And it's not a coincidence that it is similar because a lot of inspirational exchanges has taken place among. Nordic state crafters and Nordic religious modernists involved in state reforms in the period. So the similarities are having a very concrete reason. It is historical actors, which which super connected to each other that draw an inspiration. And you can see the model which are broadly chosen in those three countries are the model of cultural Christianity, cultural Protestantism, more south in Europe, it's similar catolico modernisms. And in cultural Catholicism of Northern Europe and the Nordic states, it's, of course, cultural Protestantism. And basically, the idea is that Christianity should have an impact on society and understate, but as the culture and history of the state, not as institution. So the churches are kept under state control as 'Folkekirker' (people's churches), but it's not state churches anymore. It's more like a state controlled institution, controlled by the state. But the role of religion in the Nordic, social democratic, very much influenced welfare state is as a cultural resource as a history as a way of doing social cohesion. So what happened? Well, of course, also that the very, very religious critical Social Democrats, and very, very, revolutionary social democratic movement turned into a much more pragmatic entity of state crafting leaders. And by then, and in that movement, they also allied with religious modernist solutions. So liberal solutions have been part of crafting this model. So this is what basically happened in at least three of the Nordic states, Iceland, and Finland is a bit different, we can leave that for now. So where does it put, for instance, Denmark in the end of the 60s during the 70s, and up through the 80s and 90s? Yeah, as we can say, what meets migrants with a very, very different attitude to religion, communist and socialist refugees from Iran, which are extremely critical to religion, Kurdish guest workers, who maybe didn't consider religion very much but just had it as a practice and so on very, very different people. They are met with a society, which on the one hand are super secularized. But where on the other hand, religion as Christianity as a cultural heritage, very much identified with democracy, pluralism, Danishness, and like that are still operating. So that means that newcomers on general met with a society with very clear but very blurred expectations to the role of religion. If we look at it in a migration historical perspective, it's definitely not the Lutheran churches in the Nordic states or other Christian churches, which has been critical to migrants, no matter what religion they have had, not at all. Quite the opposite, the churches has very often been involved in like intercultural work and tolerance work and human rights work and even anti racist teaching. So the contradictions between what is seen as Muslim migrants and then a Christian cultural heritage is much more a political position. But to understand that, and say, so it's false Christianity. No, it's not. But it is a way of looking at Christianity, namely, as the history and culture, a culture of the state, which has been crafted from the beginning of the 20th century, in which different political actors from right and left are using in different ways. So it's not so much religious institutions, which has been fighting a battle about migration actually, quite the opposite. But religion, as culture is a political knowledge complex, which is possible for from different positions to use and discuss,

Nicola Witcombe:

Super, let's deal with identity politics now then, whereas once it was perhaps used as an analytical lens, the term identity politics is now widely considered as something negative, which stimulates debate and puts people into different camps. Are you able to say something about identity politics today, and the Nordics, and possibly Denmark given your scholarly research and background?

Mette Buchardt:

The whole way of building up a Nordic welfare state model, to do that you need education, you need identity politics, you need to build identity politics through schooling, as you need schooling to build a welfare state mentality. It's not enough to provide equity, through access to education for all, you also need, for better and worse, to school children in a welfare state mentality. And this is, of course, identity, a welfare state identity politics, the whole way of building nation state, the nation state as a political project in the 19th century was, of course, trying to use curriculum to build identities. So identity politics is a central concept, if you want to understand the political history of Europe and Northern Europe, and not least, the history of education systems. So we still need to remember that it's not only connected to social movement, of course, it's also connected to social movement and to political discussions about that. But it's also a very important concept to understand how states are building up projects, for instance, through the education system.

Nicola Witcombe:

That's really fascinating. And I think the modern debate that sees identity politics in particular boxes could maybe gain something from looking at different perspectives of more general identity politics. But if you could, despite it being rather obvious, if you could sum up why you consider it important to teach and study in this area, which you've said is really two different areas, I suppose, or even more than two different areas?

Mette Buchardt:

To provide politicians and other policymakers, teachers, managers, municipal politicians, and managers, organizational actors,with some to overview about which tools has been used for what's in the history of discussions about migration education,. We need welfare state history, in order to make clear what was done already, in which context, how did it work? And what does that say about which tools are possible now? So it's not for me to point to the tools but I definitely see myself and my teams as The kind of cleaning team making visible, what did actually take place? And what does that say about how education politics has been handled? And where is it actually that solutions are produced from whether those solutions worked or not. And then, with regard to the whole question about secularisation model in Europe, for instance, then Denmark is of course more complex, but maybe it is even more important, because the question is, that we still know too little. And a lot of what formulation, which are circulated about how it is in political debates and public debate, are relatively far from the actual models, which have been practiced in the history of it. And I think that if the for instance, Nordic societies want to move on, on the one hand pertaining a particular identity, and on the other hand, integrate pluralism and difference as a global condition, we need to know much more about our own specific models of secularization, and one thing which is particularly overlooked in that context, the connection between modernizing and religion. So, modernism and religion are very often seen as contradictionary, including in the Nordic state project, but as a chosen welfare state historian, I can see this is a wrong interpretation, there is a connection. And if we are not getting more knowledge, also more public knowledge about that, it will be very, very difficult to have clear expectations to "What does citizens essentially mean in relation to being part of a society in which connections are expected in the nexus between nation and religion?". So in a more abstract, or more broad more meant mentality political sense, it is just as important.

Nicola Witcombe:

In current times, schools are often hotspots for education policy initiatives driven by party politics. The encounters between the majority ethnic group and newcomer children can be exaggerated or underplayed depending on the political context. In this podcast with the head of Aalborg University Center for Education Policy Research, Mette Buchardt, we have found that to try to understand what is now an often highly contested area, we need to take a look at wider issues, such as the relationship between secularization and culture, the use of schooling and molding citizens of the Nordic welfare state, and a question that pops up time and time again when talking about the egalitarian Nordics, how to create the same provision for all when children of varying means. You've been listening to nordicsinfo podcast. Thanks go to Mette, the researcher who was interviewed for this podcast and to our very own research hub, Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World and our funders NordForsk. If you would like to find out more, please visit nordics.info.

An interdisciplinary field: Finding out what has been expected of a 'Nordic' citizen.
Overview of migration and schooling in 20th century: There was migration in the Nordics before the guest workers of 1960/70s!
1970s: Increasing focus on migrant children and their lack of skills in the majority language.
Growth of the concept of culture.
Developments in different approaches to pedagogy: anti-racist, multicultural & result-orientated.
Religion's role in Nordic statecrafting & what religious landscape did migrants arriving in the Nordics meet in the 20th century?.
Identity politics in the forming of welfare state mentality.
Why is it important for today's policy makers to look back at history's successes and failures?