"By correcting disinformation and encouraging them towards tolerance" - Finnish educators' considerations of PVE-E


  • Katja Vallinkoski University of Helsinki
  • Saija Benjamin University of Helsinki
  • Kathlyn Elliott Harvard Medical School


Whole of Society Approach, P/CVE, PVE-E, Education Sector, Public Health Model, Social Ecology Model


Educators are globally posited as central actors in implementing national policies to prevent and counter violent extremism (P/CVE). However, in Finland, there are no binding P/CVE programs for education, and thus, most educators implement P/CVE based on their intuitive responses. For developing policies and practices for preventing violent extremism through education (PVE-E) in Finland, this study examines how educators position themselves in response to PVE-E and their considerations of PVE-E measures. This multi-modal study utilizes quantitative (n=1149), and qualitative (n=650) datasets collected from Finnish educators through an online survey, and a qualitative dataset (n=57) gathered during a PVE-E-related professional development training for educators. The quantitative data were analyzed using crosstabulation, and the Chi-square test. The qualitative data were analyzed using theory-driven content analysis. As an analytical and theoretical framework in which to analyze the results and discuss the findings, a model that merged the public health model (e.g. Clemmow et al., 2022) and the social ecology model (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) was created. When analyzing the educators’ considerations of PVE-E measures, the public health model was used to analyze the timing of the preventative measures (primary, secondary, or tertiary level of prevention). The social ecology model was used to analyze the factors addressed through preventative measures (micro, meso, and macro-level). Based on the findings, a substantial majority of Finnish educators considered PVE to be part of their professional duties. Their views on relevant PVE-E measures comprised mostly of primary-level prevention measures that addressed micro and meso-level factors, i.e., broad-based prevention targeting all students and the school community. However, considerations of secondary-level prevention measures (CVE) were scarce, and tertiary-level prevention measures (deradicalization and disengagement) were practically nonexistent. The findings highlight the need to offer P/CVE-related professional development training and strengthen multi-professional cooperation at the national level to advance the whole-of-society approach in Finland.


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