A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Critical Literacy in the Nordic Education Context : Insights From Finland and Norway (2022)

Veum, A., Layne, H., Kumpulainen, K., & Vivitsou, M. (2022). Critical Literacy in the Nordic Education Context : Insights From Finland and Norway. In J. Zacher Pandya, R. A. Mora, J. H. Alford, N. A. Golden, & R. S. de Roock (Eds.), The Handbook of Critical Literacies (pp. 273-280). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003023425-31

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsVeum, Aslaug; Layne, Heidi; Kumpulainen, Kristiina; Vivitsou, Marianna

Parent publicationThe Handbook of Critical Literacies

Parent publication editorsZacher Pandya, Jessica; Mora, Raúl Alberto; Alford, Jennifer Helen; Golden, Noah Asher; de Roock, Roberto Santiago



Publication year2022

Publication date22/07/2021

Pages range273-280

Number of pages in the book522


Place of PublicationNew York

Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access


This chapter explores how critical literacy is approached and defined in education within the Nordic Region. We start by a brief introduction to the Nordic sociopolitical context. We then give a broad overview of the Nordic educational system, focusing on the school systems in Finland and Norway. This serves as background for the analysis of how critical literacy is defined in the Finnish and Norwegian curricula. Secondly, we present an overview of current Nordic research on critical literacy and demonstrate how the term critical literacy is grounded in Finnish and Norwegian curriculum documents. Our curriculum analysis as well as the review of research indicates that the concept ‘critical thinking’ is more emphasised in Nordic education than ‘critical literacy’, reflecting the European understanding of democracy and the German Bildung tradition. In the Finnish and Norwegian curricula, critical thinking refers to critical reflection, as well as to assessing and evaluating knowledge from various sources. Less attention is, however, directed to linking critical literacy with issues of power and democratic citizenship. At the end of the chapter, we suggest some directions for future work with Nordic critical literacy.

Keywordsmultiliteracycritical thinkingdemocracycitizenship educationcritical pedagogycurricula

Free keywordsFinland; Norway

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating3

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 19:07