Religious and Worldview Education in Finland

  • Date: November 9th, Wednesday, 2022, 17:00 – 18:30
  • Online via Zoom [in English]

Public education in Finland is globally renowned. Finnish middle school consists of 9 years and is attended by students aged 7 to 16. The parallel education system was changed into a comprehensive education system in the 1970s. Finnish middle schools aim to provide equal opportunities for general education for all students in public schools. Most children in Finland attend public schools and there are very few private schools. If private schools receive subsidies from the state, the schools must compose the curriculum according to the national core curriculum acknowledged by the education bureau of Finland. All public education in Finland is provided for free. As part of school life, children are provided transportation and medical care for free. Lunch and school materials such as textbooks are also free. Children usually attend schools that are closest to home.

There are two types of teachers at Finnish middle schools: elementary teachers and elective teachers. Most schools also have special education teachers. There are differences in the training for each type of teacher. Schools recently have been prioritizing the cooperation of experts from various fields, and experts such as counselors, social workers, and cultural leaders at schools are part of the school community. Historically, schools have retained high positions in Finnish society. Middle school teachers in Finland are highly educated with master’s degrees. The occupation of the teacher is respected and revered. Also, more applicants than the number of openings traditionally apply to the college of education. Teacher training is mainly centered around research and is continually developed. This is considered the main element for teachers to keep their expertise in society.

This workshop has invited two education experts from the University of Helsinki for a general introduction to Finnish education and a discussion of religious, worldview, and Islam education within the Finnish curriculum for a heightened understanding of educational advanced society. It will thus provide culturally comparative consideration points for religious education.


Speakers : Arto Kallioniemi (Professor, University of Helsinki)
Niina Putkonen (Ph.D. student, University of Helsinki)

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