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Multi­discipli­nary & Innovative Courses


Diversities of Religions and Worldviews in Public Education


Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki


Related Degree Programmes:




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690-990 EUR Learn more




Arto Kallioniemi

Diversities of Religions and Worldviews in Public Education

Target students

Students who have different religions and worldviews and who are interested in questions related to the role of religions and worldviews in the public sphere and education. The course examines the issues from a multidisciplinary perspective, making use of religious studies, theology, gender studies, education, social sciences, education for diversity and social justice, anthropology and multicultural education. Students of these fields – advanced Bachelor’s level or at a Master’s level – are warmly invited to take this course. Teacher education students are also especially welcome.


The main purpose is to provide a multidisciplinary academic summer school course with a main focus on the diversity and pluralism of religions and worldviews in education. To do this, the course includes lectures, workshops, group work, fieldwork and excursions in Helsinki. The summer school promotes worldview dialogue among participants and increases their awareness of religious, spiritual and worldview-related questions in public education, especially in school education. Questions and debates of the role of worldviews and religions in education are increasingly important in all Western countries. This course will provide a perspective from Finland, a secularised post-Lutheran welfare country in Northern Europe.

Learning objectives

The course will increase students’ awareness of questions related to religions and worldviews in education. The course will also improve the students’ ability to encounter groups which are very heterogeneous in issues related to religions and worldviews. The course will give students an opportunity to practise worldview dialogue in everyday life and seeks to give them an opportunity to study in multireligious contexts and to respect people from different backgrounds.

Course format and teaching methods

Lectures, workshops, group work, fieldwork and excursions will take place with leading Finnish scholars. Experimental learning will be key.

Means and criteria of assessment

Grading scale:
5 = excellent 4 = very good 3 = good 2 = average 1 = poor 0 = fail.

Participation during lectures and in-class assignments (20%)
• Reports (20%)
• Essays (30%)
• Learning diary (30%)

Course Schedule

Location: City Centre Campus

Monday August 7, 2017 
Arrival in Helsinki

Tuesday August 8, 2017
Registration continues
HSS Opening ceremony & Welcome Party (afternoon)

Wednesday August 9, 2017
9-10:30 Welcome! Introduction, getting together
10:30-12 Programme in details
12-13 Lunch
13-14 Religious Pluralism (definition, increasing, ideas), Religious Pluralism in Europe and Finland. (Religious Pluralism in your country; short presentation)  (AK)
14:15-15:45 Theme continues  (AK)

Thursday August 10, 2017
9-11 Reflection about own relationship to pluralism, furthermore also to own relationship to religions and worldviews. HR
Orientations to Excursion
12-15  Excursions to Religious Communities and Fieldwork (HR)

Friday August 11, 2017
9-11 Finnish Education system: Religious Pluralism in Schools (PN), Religious Education and Pluralism in Societies (AK)

Monday August 14, 2017
12-20 Trip to Mustasaari, Fluid identities and Religious Dialogue (HR, PM), Pedagogical Practices (HR, AK, PN, JI)

Tuesday August 15, 2017
9-15 Excursions to Religious Communities and Fieldwork (HR), Religious Education as Multilitteracy (JI)

Wednesday August 16, 2017
Essay Writing

Thursday August 17, 2017
9-15 Religious festivals in schools Articles, discussions, group work presentations (PN, AK, JI)

Friday August 18, 2017
9-15 Essay presentations, Closing session (AK, JI, EH)
Reading material will be given at the beginning of the course

Arto Kallioniemi
Professor of Religious Education
Vice Head of Department (Society Relations, In-training education, Property Management)
Chair of Finnish Association in Subject Pedagogy

Jussi Ikkala
Pia-Maria Niemi
Heidi Rautionmaa
Erno Helki

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