Growing Up Radical? project

"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 2018-2023. For information about the researchers involved, see People.

Project aims

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: How can schools support the students' worldview construction in ways that lead to a positively meaningful value system and citizenship, instead of radicalization into violent extremism? This overarching research problem is targeted through the following research questions:

1) How do young people determine the role of educational institutions in preventing radicalization?

2) What is meant by resilience against extremism and how can it be purposefully developed?

3) What kind of events, relationships and experiences have been most significant in the construction of young people's worldviews?

4) What is the importance of educational institutions and school education in supporting the development and well-being of children and young people and preventing polarization and violent radicalization?