"Growing up radical? The role of educational institutions in guiding young people's worldview construction" is a 4-year research project conducted for the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki. The project is funded by the Academy of Finland 2018-2022. For information about the researchers involved, see People.
The important question that remains open in the intersection of educational, psychological and sociological knowledge related to the present inquiry is, what are the factors and mechanisms influencing the individual’s worldview construction that for one lead into a positively meaningful value system and constructive citizenship and for the other into frustration, marginalization or radicalization. In order to provide answers to this question and to react to the increasingly tense atmosphere regarding the strengthening of national and religious categorization and the radicalization of youths in progressively pluralistic Europe, interdisciplinary, in-depth examination of youths’ worldview construction is needed.
This study aims to answer the following research question: What are the worldview development trajectories like for Finnish youth, among those the young people who affiliate strongly with a particular worldview or ideology? This overarching research problem is targeted through the following research questions:
(1) How do youth understand and define “radical” or “extremist” thinking, and how do they locate their own worldview in relation to “radical” ideologies?
(2) What kinds of events, connections and experiences have been most influential in shaping the worldviews of young people?
(3) How do young people experience the role of school/educational institution as a space and place for identity and worldview construction?