Rhetoric, and the Swedish high-school mission for democracy

Maria Brännström*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Following legislation in 2010, all Swedish teachers, at all levels, had a double mission: to teach democracy as well the content of their subject. This mission was seen as troublesome by evaluating authorities, among others. In the latest state curriculum, rhetoric has re-emerged as a central element of Swedish mother-tongue high school education and is also seen as troublesome. In this article we will try to show how it may be feasible to combine these two elements: first, by working with the democratic mission, the rhetorical tools will facilitate and favour the preparation and execution of democratic activities; second, the rhetorical tools and concepts may be highly beneficial in the necessary meta-reflection of school activities supporting the democratic mission. Working with rhetoric means working with the foundations necessary for democracy. Since all mother-tongue teachers are obliged to teach rhetoric, it could also be used for the democratic mission.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian journal of educational research
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • democracy
  • high-school
  • Rhetoric
  • rhetorical exercises
  • teacher education


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