Looking for University Lecturers with passion for social justice and diversity

University of Helsinki is hiring two University Lecturers for the new Swedish-language teacher education programme starting this autumn. The focus of the new lower comprehensive school teacher education programme is social justice, diversity and multilingualism, and it places a significant focus on prospective teachers’ ability and tools to work in an increasingly culturally diverseschool environment.

The new programme is directly linked to the Nordic Centre of Excellence JustEd, and has mainly been built by people within the Centre who have an interest in the teacher education programme.

“We have researched diversity, multilingualism and social justice for many years. When the new teachers graduate, they will have the results of our research at their disposal to use in their classrooms,” says Gunilla Holm, Director of NCoE JustEd.

NordForsk: Professor Gunilla Holm and Fritjof Sahlström. Foto: NordForsk/Terje Heiestad

Professor Gunilla Holm and Fritjof Sahlström. Foto: NordForsk/Terje Heiestad

Gunilla and Fritjof Sahlström are the strong forces behind the founding of the new programme. “Ensuring that the linguistic minority in a society has access to a sound education is a matter of fairness,” states Fritjof. “Here we have a situation in which the minority does not have the same conditions as the majority, and it is important to do something about this.”

Ever since they first came up with the idea for the new teacher education programme in 2013, the two colleagues have used a great deal of time to gain the support of their own administration, stakeholders and politicians, and to obtain funding. So far they have received EUR 7.2 million in grants. They admit it has been a lot of work.

“With the societal development we are seeing in Finland today, educating teachers who can work for an inclusive society is a critical social mission,” says Fritjof​.

Go to the application ads:

Read more about the new Swedish-language teacher education programme.

Welcome to the Summer School “Cultures of Justice” in Gothenburg

The Centre is arranging a Summer School every year, and this year the PhD students and senior scholars are gathering for an intensive course in Gothenburg 8–12 August.

Bree Picower will give a keynote speak on the topic “Practice what you teach: social justice education in the classroom and the streets” at the first day of JustEd’s summer school, as well as facilitate a workshop, and Elisabet Öhrn will give a keynote speak on “Urban education in the Nordic countries”.

Lectures will be given by Kristiina Brunila, Paola Valero, Marianne Dovemark and Dennis Beach. In addition, the workshops will offer an interesting variety of topics from cultures of disability to gendered cultures of injustice and from multilingual classrooms to the unexamined Whiteness of teaching.

See the full program at the summer school 2016.

JustEd Summer School 2015 was arranged at Voksenåsen, Oslo.

Pictures from JustEd Summer School 2015 at Voksenåsen, Oslo.


Racism can be beaten in the classroom

A student in your classroom is voicing racist opinions. As a teacher, how would you handle the situation? Respect for diversity is fostered in the classroom, but teachers need both support and tools to tackle touchy issues in our schools.

“Silencing racist opinions in class is not a solution,” says Professor Heidi Safia Mirza from Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Skin colour, language and cultural background are just a few factors that can signal difference in a classroom. Respect for diversity is necessary, but it can be easier said than established, particularly if the teacher lacks the appropriate tools.

“If pupils are voicing racist opinions, the teacher must direct the discussion towards criticism of racism,” says Heidi Safia Mirza. She knows that tackling racist opinions in class is a challenge for many teachers. “Typically, teachers want to silence the racist commentary without processing it, but this solves nothing.”

Heidi Safia Mirza

Professor Mirza is one of the first women of colour to be awarded a professorship in the UK, and inequality in education is her area of expertise.

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Two intensive and succesful days – the JustEd Conference gathered 150 participants

“We are part of a silent social movement,” said Professor Heidi Safia Mirza in her opening keynote speach at the JustEd pre-conference “Actors for Social Justice in Education” on the International Women’s Day 8 March in Helsinki. Approximately 120 professionals and students who had gathered in Helsinki 8-9 March to take part in the JustEd Conference.

Issues concerning diversity and education were examined and discussed during the two days. On 9 March Director General Anna Ekström from the Swedish National Agency for Education, Director General Aulis Pitkälä from the Finnish National Board of Education and Professor John B. Krejsler from Aarhus University discussed whether the Nordic educational systems are fair and equal for all students.

Fritjof Sahlström moderates the discussion. In the panel Aulis Pitkälä. Anna Ekström and John B. Krejsler.


The house was filled with 150 researchers, students, policy makers and other professionals during the discussion.

The room was filled with 150 researchers, students, policy makers and other professionals during the discussion.

“Every school reform for many decades have had the aim to encrase equality, but this is something we have not achieved,” stated Anna Ekström when presenting the current situation in Sweden.

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