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Inclusive Elite Education in Sweden: Insights from Implementing Excellence Programs into an Egalitarian School Culture

Journal article
Authors Susanne Dodillet
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research
Volume 63
Issue 2
Pages 258-271
ISSN 0031-3831
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Education and Special Education
Pages 258-271
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/00313831.2017.13...
Keywords Egalitarianism; meritocracy; elite education; upper secondary education
Subject categories Educational Sciences

Abstract

A global demand for excellence programs and elite education for pupils identified as specially gifted has emerged in recent decades. This article provides preliminary insights into the ongoing efforts to integrate special tracks for “the best” with the egalitarian ideal of A School for All, which remains highly influential in the Swedish educational system. Focusing on a government resolution to introduce excellence programs at Swedish upper secondary schools, the official aim of promoting highly gifted students is compared to the policy’s actual implementation. This comparison reveals that Swedish excellence programs are riven with contradictions, satisfying neither the elitist ambitions embedded in their official guidelines nor the egalitarian convictions of educational practitioners.

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