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ERIC Number: EJ1173384
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1323-577X
"Speaking from the Stomach?" Ventriloquised Ethnocentrisms about Finnish Education
Simpson, Ashley; Dervin, Fred
Educational Practice and Theory, v39 n1 p5-29 Apr 2017
In recent years the words 'Finnish education' have been 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.
James Nicholas Publishers. PO Box 5179, South Melbourne, VIC 3205 Australia. Tel: +61-39-696-5545; Fax: +61-39-699-2040; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for International Student Assessment
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A