New Book Offers First-Ever English Overview of Finnish Youth Work Education
Finland has a well-developed youth work education system. Youth work education became a formal part of the country’s education system in 1945, and it has expanded ever since. It currently involves all levels of the formal education system and includes well-developed non-formal structures as well.
Youth Work Education in Finland, a new book published by the Finnish Youth Research Network, offers the first-ever English overview of Finnish youth work education. Primarily intended for European audiences, the book situates youth work education in the tradition of Finnish youth work itself and the wider context of the country’s educational policies and traditions.
‘The development of Finnish youth work education has been influenced by the role of youth work in Finnish society and by developments in educational policy as a whole. The core values of Finland’s pedagogical tradition, such as its belief in education and its commitment to continuous learning, egalitarianism and the importance of Bildung, manifest themselves in the way the country organises its educational policy’, says senior researcher Tomi Kiilakoski from the Finnish Youth Research Network.
From vocational education to doctoral studies, the book describes in detail Finland’s youth work education system. The country has adopted a dual sector model for its higher education, and most youth work students study at universities of applied sciences. Compared to a lot of European countries, Finland’s youth work education system is well financed and well developed.
The country’s youth work community has successfully convinced the general public that working with youth requires a specialised body of knowledge and skills, and that there is public acknowledgment of the value of this work. Recognition of this value also means recognising that youth workers are entitled to support in their pursuit of education.
Through the theoretical lens of practice architectures, the book analyses the tradition of Finnish youth work. When realised through this perspective, youth work education aims at introducing new youth workers to features of the community and helping more experienced workers learn new things. The book argues that in order to understand the way Finnish youth work education has developed, one must understand the wider context of how the field’s community of practice has developed.
Tomi Kiilakoski: Youth Work Education in Finland.
ISBN 978-952-372-000-8 (pdf), Internet Publications (Finnish Youth Research Network) 149, 97 pp. 2019.
The publication is available free of charge at
It is also available in print.
ISBN 978-952-7175-99-6. Publications (Finnish Youth Research Network) 223, 97 pages, 20 euros, 2019
Senior Researcher, PhD Tomi Kiilakoski
Finnish Youth Research Network
tel. +358 40 504 6432