Socio-Educational Policies and Covid-19 – A Case Study on Finland and Sweden in the Spring 2020

Jyrki Loima


The present study compared socio-educational policies and argumentation in Sweden and Finland during Covid-19 pandemic in March-May 2020. Countries were selected, first, due to similar tuition-free basic education, which performed high in global surveys. Second, no pandemic socio-educational research existed from Nordic countries. National responses were different. Sweden kept the society open, while Finland declared emergency and partially closed the schools. Research method was hermeneutic and phenomenological. The data discussion triangulated 1) statements/information of central administration, 2) instructive releases, 3) related educational, pandemic, and other research, and 4) responses by stakeholders. The findings were surprising. The policy and argumentation strategies failed. Central administration was observed to underestimate the guardians, let alone their needs for argumentation. Swedish policy obscured mandates and restricted information, while declining trust and, finally, causing the data failure. Finnish policies faced similar challenges. However, no break in schoolwork took place, but remote learning was successful in epidemiologic and curricular senses. Moreover, Finland revealed that most school closure studies were contextually outdated. Success occurred in operational level collaboration of homes and schools. More multidisciplinary studies are needed for improved pandemic responses.


Socio-Educational Policy, School Closure, Pandemic Covid-19, Argumentation, Remote Learning, Curriculum Comprehension

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