Multicultural Education in Finland: Renewed Intercultural Competences to the Rescue?

Fred Dervin, Martina Paatela-Nieminen, Kaisa Kuoppala, Anna-Leena Riitaoja


This paper reviews discourses on multicultural education and the concept of intercultural competencies in the European and Nordic country of Finland. We focus on their present uses and perceptions by decision-makers, researchers, and also student teachers. Some prognosis for the future is made based on a short case study from art teacher education in this context. The case study represents an approach that replaces an understanding of intercultural competencies only grounded in knowledge with an approach, instead, grounded in criticality. In this way, the article represents an attempt to evaluate how intercultural competencies can and should be reconceptualised in global scholarship today.


Intercultural competences, Finland, critical approach

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