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Finnish Education System through Social Justice and Diversities

Tuition fee


EARLY BIRD prices valid until 28.2.2019
NORMAL prices after 28.2.2019

More information 



The course has two main interlinked objectives: to give a comprehensive introduction to the Finnish education system and to familiarise students with different theoretical and methodological approaches in the field of research on social justice and diversities in education. Students are also encouraged to present and reflect upon their own education systems.

Students will examine social justice concerns in educational policy and practice. They will develop theoretical and analytical skills to be able to read research critically and reflect critically on their own and their classmates’ ideas and work on the course themes.

This course will explore theories and debates about social justice goals and themes, and education. Through our study of critical issues in education globally and locally, we will explore ideas about the role of education in society.

The following questions are central to the course: Which concepts and conditions constitute social justice? What kind of education is needed in a democracy? What is the relationship between education, schooling, inclusion, diversity and marginalisation? How does power operate through education to construct senses of self and others? What forms of knowledge and/or history are presented as truthful, accurate or authentic in formal educational contexts, and how are they resisted?

This course offers lectures, workshops and a field trip to a school in the Helsinki area to examine the Finnish education system, and the social aspects and future challenges in education.

Learning objectives

The course aims at a comprehensive understanding of the Finnish education system, its basic values, principles and organisation. The Finnish education system – pedagogy, policies, and governance and organisation of education and schooling – will be discussed through the lenses of social justice and diversities in society.

During the course students will:
• learn to understand the Finnish education system
• develop an understanding of social justice in and through education
• learn to understand the relationship between education, inclusion, diversity and marginalisation locally and globally
• learn to understand the importance of differences such as gender, class, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation and worldview in education in democratic societies both locally and globally.

Students will thus become familiar with different theoretical and methodological approaches in the field of research on social justice and diversities in education. The course approaches education from both academic and practical perspectives. In addition to academic lectures, students will visit a Finnish school, apply in workshops what they learn, and interact with educational experts outside the academic world.

Course format and teaching methods

The course contains lectures, workshops and discussions, individual and group assignments, and field trips.

Target students

Bachelor and master students and professionals interested in education, educational systems, politics, social justice and diversity, and equality; and willing to learn theoretical and methodological perspectives for education research on these topics.


Anna Mikkola
Nasibeh Hedayati

You may contact the course coordinator with questions concerning the course content.

With any other questions concerning Helsinki Summer Schoool or the application process, please contact

Apply now! Summer 2019
Application period has ended
Studies commence
Aug 6, 2019

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States