University of Oulu

Kasa, T., Karilainen, L., Rajala, A. et al. Finnish UNESCO school educators’ understanding of global citizenship education: Analysis through typologies, ecosocial understanding, and human rights. Prospects (2022).

Finnish UNESCO school educators’ understanding of global citizenship education : analysis through typologies, ecosocial understanding, and human rights

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Author: Kasa, Tuija1; Karilainen, Laura1; Rajala, Antti2;
Organizations: 1University of Helsinki, Siltavuorenpenger 5A, P.O. Box 9, 00014, Helsinki, Finland
2University of Oulu, PL 8000, 90014, Oulun yliopisto, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-07-04


This article sheds light on the unexplored field of UNESCO schools in Finland, and the results clarify the relationships between curricula, international commitments, and the understanding of educators in the educational field. It examines how teachers and principals of UNESCO’s Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) in Finland describe their understanding of the role of global citizenship education (GCE). It draws on the typology proposed by Oxley and Morris in which forms of global education are divided into cosmopolitan types and—more critically—advocacy types and subtypes. The article also draws on concepts connected to GCE in the Finnish curricula (namely, ecosocial understanding and human rights). Findings indicate that educators perceived equality, democracy, and ecological sustainability as part of UNESCO schools and their own work. On the other hand, the need for increasing student-centered approaches was noted, racism was perceived as a difficult topic, and active deconstruction of inequalities was less referenced. When analyzing the results through typologies of global citizenship, the critical, spiritual, and economic aspects of GCE received less attention.

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Series: Prospects
ISSN: 0033-1538
ISSN-E: 1573-9090
ISSN-L: 0033-1538
Issue: Online first
DOI: 10.1007/s11125-021-09597-z
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: This work was carried out connected to and partly funded by Arto Kallioniemi’s UNESCO Chair on Values, Dialogue and Human Rights in Education. Rajala would like to thank the Academy of Finland project no. 331413 for the financial support for his role in preparing the article. We would like to thank Counsellor of Education Paula Mattila for her assistance in contacting UNESCO schools and for her insights on the topic. Open access funding provided by University of Helsinki including Helsinki University Central Hospital.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 331413
Detailed Information: 331413 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit