Values in Ethics Teaching in Grades 3 to 6 of Finnish Basic Education
The article begins with a review and analysis of the literature on educational reform in Finland, with particular reference to values education and secular ethics. The analysis of the curriculum began with a review of the literature on secular ethics in Finnish basic education. The next stage was to analyse the curriculum along with the curricular guidelines and support for primary schools in grades 3–6, especially with regard to what is applicable to all schools in Finland; this involved a review of the literature on educational reform in Finland, values in teaching and secular ethics. The article addresses a key issue in curriculum policy: ethics education in grades 3–6. The article explores what is embodied in this policy, especially the objectives of the subject of ethics.
The problem method and critical discourse analysis were applied to the study of documents concerning educational reform and the study of discourses in political rhetoric. The problem method is based on an educational phenomenon related to time and society, so it was necessary to contrast the different views presented in contemporary Finnish education and to examine various consistent factors. Education here is thus an interaction between the various sets of teachers’ values and the ongoing construction of students’ values. This method of primary education encourages appropriate conditions for lifelong learning for each student. Suggested lessons may include discussions with students about values so that students perceive the variance in values and are able to think about them in a constructive and critical manner.
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