Background

Ihmisoikeuskasvatus Educa-messuilla

The project is a continuation of previous reports and projects exploring education for democratic citizenship and human rights education in teacher training. More information about the reports is available below. The increasing focus on education for democratic citizenship and human rights education in curricula also requires that teacher training be developed accordingly.

Until now, teachers have received support from various parties, but no consistent training on the topics has been available. Many have visited the exhibition stand for human rights education at the Educa fair on teaching and education.

Studies show that teachers’ knowledge and skills concerning the topics vary. Much depends on the active efforts of individual teachers. Moreover, curricula increasingly focus on learning outcomes associated with education for democratic citizenship and human rights education, which raises the question of whether teacher training provides sufficient knowledge and skills to achieve these objectives.

The project seeks solutions to the challenges that have arisen and supports the continuation of the cooperation.

Human rights education is a theme in the National Action Plan on Fundamental and Human Rights 2017–2019, and education for democratic citizenship is a focus area in the Action Plan on Democracy Policy (2017). The provision of education for democratic citizenship is also charted in the report on education for democratic citizenship (2011), published by the Finnish National Agency for Education.

The publication Hyvän lähteillä – Demokratia- ja ihmisoikeuskasvatus opetustyössä, produced in a cooperative project in 2016–2017, showed the will for continuing co-operation and the need for continuing education both for individuals and communities. To read the report in Finnish, please click here.

You can also explore the Finnish-language website on education for democratic citizenship, created during the project.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has recommended in its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) that Finland include human rights education in teacher training. The recommendation concerning compulsory studies was previously rejected due to the universities being autonomous institutions entitled to decide on their teaching. Other recommendations were approved in 2017, based on the facts that education on fundamental and human rights is one of the themes of the National Action Plan on Fundamental and Human Rights 2017–2019 and that curricula now focus more on human rights (e.g., the section on the obligations of holders of public posts).

In 2014 the Human Rights Centre published an extensive report on the baseline level of Finnish education and training on human rights. The training provided to teachers and educators, in addition to the local government and holders of public posts, was identified as the most obvious challenge for human rights education. Read the summary in English. To read the report in Finnish, please click here.

Based on the report, the Human Rights Delegation issued recommendations for the promotion of human rights education and training in Finland:
1. The Government should draft an action plan for human rights education and training.
2. Human rights should be included in all forms of education and training.
3. Human rights education should support and promote the realisation of a learning environment where human rights are respected.
4. The human rights knowledge and skills of teachers and educators should be strengthened.
5. The human rights knowledge and skills of public servants and other persons exercising public power and functions should be ensured.
6. The materials and methods for teaching human rights should be developed.
7. Human rights education, teaching, learning and knowledge should be monitored, evaluated and developed.

For more information in Finnish on human rights education, please see the website of the Human Rights Centre.

To read the Finnish-language report Demokratia ja ihmisoikeudet Tavoitteet ja sisällöt opettajankoulutuksessa (Rautiainen, Vanhanen-Nuutinen & Virta 2014), commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Culture, please click here. The recommended measures include the provision of more teacher training on the topics and the guarantee of equality in this area throughout Finland.