|Teaching Civic Engagement Globally is the result of collaborative work spanning scholars from multiple disciplines, fields, and careers. Political scientists, educators, and students have joined to produce important, timely research.|
Chapter 19: “My Participation is Often Dismissed”: How Vocational School Students Participate in Society
by Niina Meriläinen, Tampere University
The precondition for a healthy democracy is the inclusion of its young people from various backgrounds in various forms of democratic participation. However, Finnish vocational secondary school students are not taught civic engagement and ways of becoming agenda-setters in society, as academic secondary school students are. In this research, students aged 16–26 years old from vocational secondary schools convey that they are not seen in the democratic development processes in Finland. Thus, their potential as participants in democratic processes is overlooked in society and by policymakers. This chapter argues that, while vocational secondary students are not given the civic engagement education that they need, they do act as agenda-setters in numerous ways. The absence of civic education for these students continues to leave a gap in Finland’s democracy. Its educational system fails to value and foster the democratic participation of all young people.
About Teaching Civic Engagement Globally
Educators around the globe are facing challenges in teaching politics in an era in which populist values are on the rise, authoritarian governance is legitimized, and core democratic tenets are regularly undermined. To combat anti-democratic outcomes and citizens’ apathy, Teaching Civic Engagement Globally provides a wide range of pedagogical tools to help the current generation learn to effectively navigate debates and lead changes in local, national, and global politics. Contributors discuss key theoretical discussions and challenges regarding global civic engagement education, highlight successful evidence-based pedagogical approaches, and review effective ways to reach across disciplines and the global education community.