Racism and antiracism in lower secondary schools (RILSE)
In this research, we study how pupils and teachers in lower secondary education understand, experience and challenge racism and how education polices aim to tackle racism.

Racism is shaping our society, politics and public spaces and there is a need to study how children and teachers perceive and react to racism in the school context since racism has an impact on the lives of pupils.

In this study we conduct interviews with students and teachers and participant observations in four Finnish-speaking and two Swedish-speaking lower secondary schools. We also use survey data with eighth and ninth graders to analyze the prevalence of racist bullying and its impacts on pupils’ welfare. Furthermore, we analyze education policy documents, and the ways racism is discussed and tackled in them. Our research aims to improve the welfare of pupils and promote social justice in education.

Project team

Project leader, Gunilla Holm
Senior university lecturer, Jenni Helakorpi
Postdoctoral researcher Maïmouna Jagne-Soreau
Technical assistant Saara Loukola

Previous participants:
Postdoctoral researcher Ina Juva
Doctoral student Anna Suni
Research assistant Venla Järvensivu

Cooperation and funding

We cooperate with the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL)

Funding is provided by: 
Academy of Finland
Swedish Cultural Foundation 
Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki (JustEd-Exit funding)


Helakorpi, J., Holm, G. & Liu, X. (fortcoming). Education of pupils with a migrant background: A failure in the Finnish system? 

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