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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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Science education, the science curriculum and PISA 2006

A national level curriculum for compulsory school is one of the most important tools for implementing national education policy. In a national level curriculum there is typically a general part in which the main goals for education in compulsory schools are described (Field & Leicester, 2000; Concepción, Murray & Ruud, 2002). In the Nordic countries, these goals indicate that compulsory schooling for children up to age 15 should support their growth towards ethically responsible membership in society, and provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary for life and life long learning. Moreover, education should promote equality in society and the ability to participate as a full member of society. In addition to this kind of overall goal or purpose, in all Nordic countries there are also national level guidelines or goals for each school subject. Consequently, in the Nordic countries the national curriculum provides both general goals and subject specific goals, and in some countries also a syllabus for all school subjects.

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