Literature education in Nordic L1s

Cultural models of national lower-secondary curricula in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden


  • Aslaug Fodstad Gourvennec
  • Heidi Höglund
  • Maritha Johansson
  • Kristine Kabel
  • Margrethe Sønneland



comparative analysis, cultural models, L1 literature education, lower secondary education, national curricula, Nordic countries


This study aims to shed light on the cultural models of literature and literature education reflected in Nordic L1 curricula by investigating how literature is given discursive significance in the Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish L1 curricula for lower-secondary school, both within and across those four countries. Education in the Nordic countries is a field well suited for comparative analysis as the languages used are closely related and the countries' educational systems and policies are similar. In the study, we discuss how literary texts are given significance compared with other texts and what purposes of literature education are given a prominent place in the L1 curricula. The theoretical framework used derives from Gee's (2014) description of cultural models; we understand the national curricula as linguistically created realms of reality. The comparative analysis suggests that there are similar tendencies as well as distinct national differences. Prominent cultural models identified across the countries are a double position of literary texts and a high expectation on literature education. The study points to a need to discuss the status and purpose of literary texts in the Nordic L1 subjects in order to promote further mutual understanding and inspiration across borders.




How to Cite

Gourvennec, A. F., Höglund, H., Johansson, M., Kabel, K., & Sønneland, M. (2020). Literature education in Nordic L1s: Cultural models of national lower-secondary curricula in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 20(1), 1–32.