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Northern Lights on PISA 2006

Differences and similarities in the Nordic countries

image of Northern Lights on PISA 2006

The Next Big Thing? Trends Shaping Nordic Innovation is written for people interested in and working with the issues of innovation, economic development, globalisation and climate change, and how these issues impact on companies and industries, and in national or in international settings such as Nordic co-operation or the European Union. The book argues that innovation needs to measured and managed. Innovation needs to be developed as a serious management discipline in order to deliver on the future expectations of investors whether these investors are from private companies or public government agencies. The publication also argues that there is a need to emphasise that research is not the same as innovation, and that we need to distinguish between science and the “scientific method” in order to develop better innovation policies and innovation management techniques. In the final focus chapter on climate change the book states that the Nordic region has a strong position within some of the new energy and environment industries. Yet, in order to keep that position and to stay in the global vanguard of clean technologies and climate industries, it might be necessary for the Nordic countries to experiment with what the authors call “forced innovation”. The book is relevant for industry branch organisations, company managers, policy makers, public policy professionals as well as graduate and undergraduate courses in management, innovation, entrepreneurship, globalisation and climate change.

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The influence from individual social background and school social background in the Nordic countries

Compulsory schooling was introduced in the Nordic countries in the early 1800s providing training for all children, more or less to match the demand for a skilled labour force in an increasingly industrialised society. The length and level of training reached was still highly dependent on social background. The late 1800s saw political goals primarily introduced by the Social Democrats, for more equal distribution of education which in the 1950s and 1960s led to a shift towards a comprehensive school without tracking the compulsory part of the education system. In recent years, the debate on immigration and gender has also led to interest in the effects of ethnicity and gender.

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