Lehtonen, J. (2023). Rainbow Paradise? Sexualities and Gender Diversity in Finnish Schools. In: Thrupp, M., Seppänen, P., Kauko, J., Kosunen, S. (eds) Finland’s Famous Education System. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-8241-5_17
Rainbow paradise? : sexualities and gender diversity in Finnish schools
1Gender Studies, University of Helsinki, PL 59, 00014, Helsinki, Finland
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2023030930748
|Publish Date:|| 2023-03-09
The Finnish education system, welfare state and Finland’s position in respect to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) human rights have been praised. In this chapter, the utopian image of Finnish education system as a ‘rainbow paradise’ is questioned. Legislation, curricula, teachers, school textbooks, experiences of non-heterosexual, trans and intersex youth as well as LGBTI human rights organisations’ work are discussed, as well as the influence of COVID-19. All are looked at from the viewpoint of heteronormativity. Even if there have been several advancements in acknowledging sexual and gender diversity within Finnish education, particularly in the area of legislation and educational policies, there are serious everyday problems in making schools safe for LGBTI students and teachers, as well as with treating everyone equally despite their sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Teacher training, teaching and textbooks used in schools are often still heteronormative, and teachers lack tools and motivation in resisting heteronormative starting points in their work. Youth culture has changed in recent years, it has become more diverse and less judgemental towards LGBTI youth but non-heterosexual, trans and intersex students are still clearly experiencing more violence in schools than cisgender heterosexual students. The mainly heteronormative Finnish education system creates stress and mental health problems for LGBTI youth. Counselling and health care services are still not fully able to respond to their needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation worse. In short, it will require a sustained effort to make the Finnish education system anything close to a ‘rainbow paradise’.
|Pages:||273 - 288|
Finland’s famous education system : unvarnished insights into Finnish schooling
|Host publication editor:||
|Type of Publication:||
A3 Book chapter
|Field of Science:||
516 Educational sciences
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