Touching the Untouchables: Pre-Service Teachers' Views About the Rights of the Child Based on Focus Group Discussions

Merja Paksuniemi, Minna Körkkö, Satu-Maarit Korte, Tanja Joona, Pigga Keskitalo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter discusses pre-service teachers’ views about the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child and how teachers perceive their connection to the educational context and their work. The authors argue that pre-service teachers’ perceptions determine how successfully human rights education is implemented in practice. The data were collected from workshops and focus group discussions conducted with 82 primary school pre-service teachers in Northern Finland. The participants noted that children’s rights are important and deeply connected to their work. However, they were insufficiently familiar with HRE concepts, and they were uncertain about whether it was acceptable to physically restrain children to protect them or others, as this could undermine a child’s rights. To adhere to the principles in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the topic must be included in the pre-service study syllabus, more clearly added to the curriculum, and implemented in teacher practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Dimensions of Democracy and Human Rights
Subtitle of host publicationProblems and Perspectives
EditorsNika Chitadze
Place of PublicationHershey
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781668445457
ISBN (Print)9781668445433, 9781668445440
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Field of science

  • Teacher Education


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