Changes in Finnish society have been rapid – from national homogeneity and unity to greater diversity. Traditionally, schools have represented an institution that has had an important role in maintaining national objectives. In this article, we examine how Finnish comprehensive school principals describe their understanding of diversity in their school communities. Supporting diversity in schools is part of the pursuit of equality, equity, and justice in school and society. Principals’ ways of conceptualizing diversity are crucial as they have a significant impact on school improvement, and school organization has a positive effect on teaching and learning. In qualitative analysis, the principals’ descriptions and reflections on diversity in their school communities formed a total of four thematic categories: Categorizations of diversity, Principal’s work, Visibility of diversity, and Attitudes and concerns. Finnish principals most often related diversity to visible and practical features. Their attitudes were mainly positive but reflected a somewhat shallow understanding of the concept.
Fields of Science
- 516 Educational sciences