Societal Changes Affecting Primary School Education After the Second World War in Finland

Merja Paksuniemi, Sari Niemisalo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


To demonstrate how changes in both foreign and domestic environments after the Second World War affected primary education and teacher training in Finland, the article presents a historical picture of the post-war reality of the school system, based on a review of sources that include laws, decrees, curricula, textbooks and previous research. The review confirms that the Second World War had a profound effect on foreign policy, Finnish society and school policy. Consequently, the Finnish government made urgent changes to legislation and school curricula that particularly affected primary school education and teacher training. The aim of these provisions was to guarantee a high quality of education for children who were under the compulsory law of education, despite the challenging post-war situation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-86
JournalEducation and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Finland
  • Second World War
  • education
  • primary school
  • society

Field of science

  • General education


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