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Open AccessArticle

In Search of Maximal Citizenship in Educational Policy for Young People: Analysing Citizenship in Finnish Religious Education in View of the “Maximal” Conception

Department of Education, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(8), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8080232
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 31 July 2019 / Published: 2 August 2019
The place of religion and how it should be employed in education for citizenship is currently an issue in Europe. The challenges of increasing diversity are the underlying factors. The conception of maximal citizenship (a critical model of citizenship) gives a significant framework for analysis and scholarly perspectives about several European contexts on this matter. However, there is hardly maximal citizenship in Finnish contexts in scholarship. Hence, this work searches for the elements of maximal citizenship in educational policy for young people by employing the policy relating to citizenship in Finnish religious education (RE). Focusing on grades 7–9 of basic education, its primary data is based on selected national policy documents. The data were analysed using critical discourse analysis. The main findings suggest that citizenship in Finnish RE is only somewhat compatible with the characteristics of maximal citizenship. This reveals some policy shortcomings that could negatively affect the potential of critical-mindedness of young people and equal opportunities in a democracy. Hence, some suggestions that could improve the situation are embedded in the paper. Nevertheless, a linguistic conception of citizenship in Finland vis-à-vis a recent development in national educational policy seems to push the conception of maximal citizenship in a relatively new direction. Furthermore, an explicit use of the “Convention on the Rights of the Child” in Finnish curriculum broadens our conception of maximal citizenship in general. Moreover, while scholars generally agree that maximal citizenship is essentially “critical”, this piece suggests that every “critical” approach to citizenship education is not necessarily “maximal”. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizenship education; curriculum; democracy; educational policy; human rights; maximal citizenship; religious education; young people citizenship education; curriculum; democracy; educational policy; human rights; maximal citizenship; religious education; young people
MDPI and ACS Style

Adebayo, G.O. In Search of Maximal Citizenship in Educational Policy for Young People: Analysing Citizenship in Finnish Religious Education in View of the “Maximal” Conception. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 232.

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