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Three Examples of courses related to AGORA’s themes

Education and Social Justice

In this class, students will examine social justice concerns in educational policy and practice. Students will develop their theoretical and analytical skills to be able to read research critically as well as reflect critically on their own as well as their classmates’ ideas and work addressing course themes.

This course will explore theories and debates about social justice goals and themes, and education. Through our study of critical issues in education globally and locally, we will explore ideas about the role of education in society. The following questions are central to the course: What concepts and conditions constitute social justice? What kind of education is needed in a democracy? What is the relationship between schooling and participation in a democratic society? How does power operate through education to construct senses of self and others? What forms of knowledge and/or history are presented as truthful, accurate or authentic in formal educational contexts, and how are they resisted?

Learning goals:

  • To develop an understanding of social justice in and through education.
  • To explore the relationship between education and democracy locally and globally.
  • To think about the meanings of social differences in education.

Comparative and international education

The course is an introduction to basic concepts and different theoretical starting points of comparative and international education. Theories range from the general ideas of borrowing and lending, world systems analysis, and complexity theories to post-comparative and post-colonial perspectives. The course offers analytical tools for understanding basic change dynamics in the context of transnational flows and networks and critical insight in re-understanding the spatial and temporal conventions as well as the problems in comparative research. In addition, the course raises awareness of the political aspects of international comparisons and rankings affecting global social justice.

Through course work and practical examples the course also gives basic knowledge of education policies and provision in different contexts, and in doing this the course sets out to use the potential of a diverse student group. The course work is based on small written assignments for each lecture drawing on the course literature and discussions and group work during the sessions. The working language is English. The course is graded based on a final essay and the work during the course.

Education, Power and Societal Differences (Koulutus, sukupuoli ja valta, now only in Finnish)

During the course students will learn to utilize feminist theories and concepts in relation to wider societal shifts such as marketisation, individualization and therapisation of educational policies and practices and from the perspective of power and societal differences such as gender, age, class, sexuality, disability and cultural background.

The course is based on the idea that knowledge is formed collectively. The most important tool is discussion focusing on the development of knowledge. During the course students will develop critical strategies that work through a (de)constructive critique of the theoretical. This entails asking how we assert our rights to know, to knowledge and to know the “other’? This directs attention to questions of the power, to the limits of knowing and to the relation between knowledge and power.

The course will strengthen self-awareness, awareness of the limits of knowing, the capacity for self-critique and fostering an appreciation for the diversity of perspectives in relation to inequalities, social exclusion and marginalities. The course is graded based on a scientific essay and the work during the course. Students successfully completing this course will be able to do the following:

  • discuss a variety of theoretical perspectives relevant to the field of feminist research and education.
  • critically analyze contemporary educational policies and practices from the perspective of power and societal differences.
  • formulate a scientific essay focused on question in the field of feminist research and education.

Education, Working life and Equality (Koulutus, työelämä ja tasa-arvo, now only in Finnish)

What we think equality means affects what we set as objectives and the way we pursue the objectives. This course is a contribution to a wide discussion on equality from historical, cultural and political perspectives. During the course we look at equality as a social or cultural construction. This enables an aspiration to change treatment and conditions. General obstacles to equality and indicators of inequality will be analysed as well as the objectives, perspectives and methods of equality work in the Nordic context. During the course, rather than trying to locate and define equality, we ask different questions such as:

  • how does equality function,
  • how does it get produced and regulated,
  • what are its social effects, and
  • what is involved in promotion of equality and what is my position in this process?

Students will learn to both deconstruct and reconstruct equality and its implications in educational policies and practices. Students learn to think more critically, to acknowledge and challenge prevailing situations from the perspective of inequalities so that they can do something about them. Students are graded based on a scientific essay and the work during the course.

Couple of more courses related to AGORA’s main themes listed below.


  • P 2 Kasvatus, yhteiskunta ja kulttuuri
  • P 3 Kasvatus, koulutus ja kehitys elämänkulussa
  • A 2.2 Kasvatus, koulutus ja erot: kulttuurintutkimuksen näkökulmia
  • A 2.9 Koulutus, työelämä ja tasa-arvo
  • A 4 Kandidaatin tutkielma ja sen tekemistä tukeva seminaari
  • S 1.1 Orientoiva kirjallisuus: Kasvatus, yhteiskunta ja kulttuuri
  • S 1.2 Temaattinen kirjallisuus
  • S 2.2 Koulutus, sukupuoli ja valta
  • S 4 Pro gradu -tutkielma ja sen tekemistä tukeva seminaari

Utbildning i pedagogik

  • G3 Individ och samhälle
  • Ä2.1 Monikulttuurinen koulutus ja kasvatus
  • Ä2.3 Inklusion, marginalisering och specialpedagogik
  • Ä4 Kandidatavhandling och seminarium som stöder forskningsprocessen
  • F1 Orienterande litteratur
  • F2.3 Education and social justice
  • F4 Pro gradu -avhandling och seminarier som stöder forskningsprocessen