A1 Journal article (refereed)
‘Human rights and democracy are not self-evident’ : Finnish student teachers’ perceptions on democracy and human rights education (2021)

Kasa, T., Rautiainen, M., Malama, M., & Kallioniemi, A. (2021). ‘Human rights and democracy are not self-evident’ : Finnish student teachers’ perceptions on democracy and human rights education. Human Rights Education Review, 4(2), 69-84. https://doi.org/10.7577/hrer.3937

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kasa, Tuija; Rautiainen, Matti; Malama, Mia; Kallioniemi, Arto

Journal or series: Human Rights Education Review

eISSN: 2535-5406

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 12/05/2021

Volume: 4

Issue number: 2

Pages range: 69-84

Publisher: University of South-Eastern Norway

Publication country: Norway

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7577/hrer.3937

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/75834


This article discusses democracy and human rights education (DHRE) in Finnish teacher education, drawing on existing literature, curricula and a survey of student teachers’ perceptions. Earlier studies suggested that DHRE in Finnish teacher education is unsystematic, implicit, and dependent on the teacher’s individual interests. These studies highlight a sense of national exceptionalism, where DHRE is assumed to be self-evident. In 2019, we conducted a survey of student teachers (n=300) in one university. Data content analysis reveals that student teachers now see DHRE as relevant and timely, and by no means self-evident. Student teachers believe that DHRE needs to be explicit and part of their professional education. Although the Finnish national curriculum addresses DHRE explicitly, there is a lack of implementation and explicit DHRE teacher education. We contend that the data reflects societal change, and that the notion that democracy and human rights are self-evident needs to be challenged in Finland.

Keywords: human rights; democracy; citizenship education; teachers; teacher training; content analysis

Free keywords: human rights education; democracy education; teacher education; student teachers; content analysis

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:29