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In the era of neo-liberalism, Western societies have gone through a process of implementing New Public Management as the main instrument for governance. Also the educational sector is influenced by this change in ideology and practice. At the same time, western society have witnessed a new form of individualisation. In the educational system this is translated into pupil-centred learning. We catch eye of the establishment of a culture with new institutional arrangements that simultaneously seek justification by referring to market and competition and by referring to individual authenticity and individual self-realisation. This article put forward an analysis of how justifications of educational reforms in Norway changed from beginning of the 1960s to the 1990s. I will discuss sociologically the historical process by which the compromise between market liberalism and romantic individualism was designed and given legitimacy.