The construction of ideal reader in German and Finnish text-books for literacy education


  • Liisa Tainio
  • Iris Winkler



comparative analysis, ideal reader, reading literacy, textbooks


The article compares reading literacy education in Germany and Finland using the following curricula and textbooks intended to ten-year-old pupils as data: Finnish National Core Curriculum for Basic Education and the German Bildungsstandards, as well as of three Finnish and three German textbooks. Our analytical method is critical discourse analysis, which is used for the purpose of the comparison. We identify three important differences in the curricula that also affect the textbooks. In our analysis of the textbooks we focus on identifying their ideal readers, and, as a reflection of the differences between the curricula, find that these ideal readers differ between the German and Finnish data. We illustrate the ideal readers' characteristics by analyzing extracts from the textbooks. The ideal reader in the Finnish textbooks is presented more as an independent actor who is interested in learning and whose prior knowledge is valuable whereas in the German textbooks the ideal reader is more depend-ent on guidance. According to our limited data, we consider this to be one of the key elements illustrating the differences in German and Finnish educational cultures.




How to Cite

Tainio, L., & Winkler, I. (2014). The construction of ideal reader in German and Finnish text-books for literacy education. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 14(1), 1–25.