Student teachers’ viewpoints of the current RE solution and how RE should be profiled in the future in Finland
Nyckelord:RELIGIOUS EDUCATION (RE), SECULAR ETHICS, THE FINNISH RE MODEL, STUDENT TEACHERS
This study focuses on Finnish student teachers’ viewpoints of the current RE model and their views on how RE should be profiled in the future. The idea of this article is to formulate possible models to organize RE in Finland based on the data gathered by student teachers. The topic is very timely and urgent as Religious Education (hence RE) has been fiercely debated in different European countries. There have also been debates about the function and profile of, and the most suitable model for, RE in Finland. The data of this study consist of 149 essays written by 35 student teachers studying in a class-teacher program and 114 teacher students studying in a subject-teacher program. The data were analyzed by qualitative content analysis. The main research questions are: 1. What kinds of strengths and challenges do student teachers see in the current RE solution? 2. What kinds of RE-models would they prefer in the future? 3. According to them, what kinds of model scenarios could be formulated? Many student teachers prefer a model where RE is taught both according to an individual’s faith as well as collectively, irrespective of the individual students’ faiths. Could this kind of combination model take into account the strengths of both models (the current and joint models) and at the same time correct the problems associated with these models?