Several aspects related to the teachers’ views on the rights of the child based on focus group discussions on the example of Finland
The paper was prepared within the project Advancing European Values and Standards in Georgian Schools supported by Erasmus + Jean
Monet program of the European Union. One of the main purposes of this project was to study the school education system of the leading
EU member states by the team members. The author was involved in researching the school education system of Finland determining the
views of school teachers in Finland related to schoolchildren’s human rights protection. As it is known, this country has the leading position
related to the introduction of the new and modernized system of education in school and providing maximum protection of children’s
human rights, particularly those of schoolchildren.
In general, this paper discusses pre-service teachers’ views concerning the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child
and the ways teachers perceive their connection to the educational context and their work. The author argues that pre-service teachers’
perceptions determine how successfully human rights education is implemented in practice. The data were collected from workshops
and focus group discussions conducted with approximately 100 primary school pre-service teachers in Northern Finland. The participants
noted that children’s rights are important and deeply connected to their work. However, they were insufficiently familiar with human rights
education (HRE) concepts, and they were uncertain about whether it was acceptable to physically restrain children in order to protect them
or others, as this could undermine a child’s rights. To adhere to the principles in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the topic
must be included in the pre-service study syllabus, more clearly added to the curriculum, and implemented in teacher practice.
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