Growing up radical? The role of educational institutions in guiding young people's worldview construction

Project: Research Council of Finland: Academy Project

Project Details

Description (abstract)

How and what to edu­cate on val­ues in times of plur­al­ism and po­lar­isa­tion?

Our research project "Growing up radical? The role of educational institutions in guiding young people's worldview construction" is interested in the elements influencing children and young people's value learning and worldview development trajectories.

The aim of our research group is to bring new insights and methodological openings into the fields of resilience, societal polarization, and prevention of radicalization by approaching the topic from the perspective of young people, as well as the educational institutions in which their growth and development is to a large extent embedded.

Our international research group includes members from the University of Helsinki (FIN), Stockholm University (SWE), Åbo Akademi (Fin) and the University of Oxford (UK).

Layman's description

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?

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.
Short titleKuusisto A. 9/2018-8/2023 Akatemiahank
Effective start/end date01/09/201831/05/2023


  • Suomen Akatemia Projektilaskutus: €480,000.00

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences