Docent Gholami Khalil and working group (Caring School Group)

360400 €

The Pedagogy of Caring for Others: A Non-Affirmative Praxis for Promoting Sustainable Schools

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

The hegemony of the neoliberal ideology has posed a threat to the political and democratic processes across various sectors of the public sphere, including educational systems. Engulfed in the rhetoric of market-driven education, there's a concern that students might lose their inclination to “care for others” in schools. In this project, the term "others" holds a comprehensive significance, encompassing both human beings as integral social entities and nonhuman creatures as essential components of the natural world. In Finland, there is growing evidence of a shift in Finnish education policy towards marketization, where the prominence of self-interest appears to be on the rise. Relying on the Non-Affirmative Theory of Education rooted in Bildung, our primary research objective is to investigate how the pedagogy of caring for others is implemented within Finnish schools amidst the prevailing neoliberal climate. The project unfolds in three distinct phases: Firstly, we will embark on an extensive literature review to conceptualize the pedagogy of caring for others from philosophical, pedagogical, and anthropological perspectives. Using a survey, secondly, our objective is to delve into the students' sense of caring for others within Finnish schools and explore its potential correlation with the social gap in schools. Using proxy indicators, lastly, our research project will shift its lens to examine the pedagogy of caring for others at the school level. The findings will be communicated to both scientific and public audiences, in different public and scientific formats. Drawing inspiration from boldness and polarity of voices, we argue that this project questions the unquestioned dominance of neoliberal policy in schools and advocates for a pedagogical approach that places ethical consideration for others at the forefront of school leadership, policy, and practice.