Growing up radical?

"Growing up radical? The role of educational institutions in guiding young people's worldview construction" is a 4-year research project conducted for the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki. The project is funded by the Academy of Finland 2018-2022.  

Our research project investigates how educational institutions could guide and support young people's (ages 16-20) identity and worldview construction in ways that support their well-being and resilience and prevent violent radicalization in the Finnish context. Interdisciplinary in nature, but strongly grounded in the field of educational sciences, the study aims to provide new knowledge about the worldview construction of Finnish youth, to examine their views about the prevention of radicalization through education, and to examine the role of educational institutions in supporting the students in their worldview construction. To this end, this study investigates how the life trajectories on the one hand, and the educational context, on the other hand, influence the worldview construction of young people. The data was gathered through online surveys (N1=3617, N2, 410) and in-depth interviews (N=45) during 2019–2020.

Research problem

The overarching research problem is targeted through the following research questions: 

  1. How do young people define the role of school in the prevention of radicalization?
  2. What is resilience against radicalization and how can it be intentionally strengthened? 
  3. What are the factors, relationships, and mechanisms that have been the most influential in the worldview construction of the youth? 
  4. What is the role of educational institutions in the worldview formation of Finnish young people, and in the prevention of polarization and violent radicalization?

The data for this study was collected from Finnish upper secondary education institutions during 2019-2020.