Religion, Worldviews and Integrated Instruction: How Do Finnish Class Teachers Define the Purpose of Religious Education and Ethics?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter deals with Finnish class teachers' (N = 20) perceptions of the purpose of religious education and ethics in public education and the connection between those perceptions and their interpretations of integrated instruction. In the empirical study, based on the teachers' perceptions, three main purposes of religious education and ethics were formed: 1) moral and/or ethical education, 2) general knowledge education, and 3) instrumental education. The first category was focussed on discussion and dialogue on ethical issues, the second category emphasised developing general knowledge about religions and worldviews, and the third category was seen as a tool to prevent radicalisation and bullying and was thought to increase peace and tolerance. On the other hand, instrumentality was also critical towards commitment to any particular religious tradition. Notably, none of the class teachers defined learning about one's own religion as a purpose of religious education. Integrated teaching was seen as enabling dialogue, tolerance, and peace. Integrated and hybrid instruction were both seen as suitable for learning about moral and ethical issues, increasing general knowledge, and preventing radicalisation. In hybrid instruction, development of personal worldviews was seen as a strength.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReligion and Worldviews in Education : The New Watershed
EditorsLiam Gearon, Arniika Kuusisto, Saila Poulter, Auli Toom, Martin Ubani
Number of pages15
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication date21 Jul 2023
Article number16
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-20879-4, 978-1-032-20884-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-26569-6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2023
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Religion and Education

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences

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