Cultural and religious diversity are becoming characteristics of the countries around the Baltic Sea, as well of most of the rest of the world. Diversity is also developing in the environment where the citizens of tomorrow are receiving their public socialization, i. e. in day care and schools. For many pupils this diversity is a surprise, whereas others take it for granted. The attitudes towards diversity change during the children’s years in compulsory school.
The project CARDIPS aims at describing the development in values in pupils in 3rd, 6th and 9th grade in Estonia, Finland and Sweden. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods will be used.
The research objective is (1) to describe the bearing of a number of structural factors on the experience of cultural and religious diversity, (2) to assess the importance of age and family tradition, (3) to make national comparisons across the Baltic Sea, and (4) develop tools for intercultural teacher education.
A research team is organized with two Finnish scholars (funded in Helsinki), one Estonian and two Swedish scholars, along with one doctoral student. The latter four will be funded through the present application.
The theoretical perspective governing the investigation is that attitudes towards cultural and religious diversity develop as a result of two factors, one being socialization from parents and teachers, the other being the pupils’ own agency. Both these factors are heavily influenced by national tradition and culture. The project will seek to illuminate the processes behind individual development in pupils in the 3rd, 6th and 9th grade.
Preliminary investigations have been carried out in all three countries: full scale data collection in Finland and instrument testing in Estonia and Sweden.