The role of comprehensive schools in supporting the well-being of Northern-Finnish young people as perceived by the young people, parents and carers

Suvi Lakkala, Lauri Lantela, Education in the North

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    Abstract

    In Finland, services aimed at supporting the well-being of young people and their families are fragmented. This research explores the expectations of young people and parents and carers concerning the well-being of young people and their perceptions of the school’s role in supporting young people. The research was conducted in the form of a survey addressed to ninth-graders (N=440) and parents and carers (N=289) in Finnish Lapland in 2018. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were performed on the data. The results show that most students from families with unsupportive family atmosphere and parenting did not wish to seek help. Still, among the whole study population, most of the young people experienced school as a natural place to receive extensive support for well-being. Both students and parents and carers wanted school to be a low-threshold place with various professionals who see, hear and support the students as needed. However, the challenge is to develop services that help struggling families. It would be necessary to invest in the development of collaborative, multi-agent school cultures that nurture students’ initiative and engagement. We call this approach sustainable well-being which means working continuously to build trust and support for young people every day.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)125-140
    Number of pages16
    JournalEducation in the North
    Volume27
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2020

    Keywords

    • sustainable well-being
    • young people
    • parents and carers
    • comprehensive school

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