Values and Goals of Education: Comparative study of three countries (Finland, Estonia, Russia)

Responsible researcher: Sirkka Laihiala-Kankainen, Senior researcher, Centre for Applied Language Studies

Partners: Prof. Svetlana Raschetina (Herzen State Pedagogical University, St. Petersburg), Assoc. Prof. Ulve Kala-Arvisto (University of Tallinn), Assoc. Prof. Inger Kraav (University of Tartu)

Duration: 2005 – 2010

Funding: mainly own funding; travel grants for working abroad from the Academy of Finland and Estonian Academy of Science


The purpose of the study was to examine the changing values and goals of education in Finland, Russia, and Estonia. The data consisted of pedagogic documents in the three countries, questionnaires to ninth graders and teachers, and essays written by Finnish and Russian students. The main focus was on the values and goals of school leavers, and their views on the learning process and learning environments as well as on the school and its development.

Final report

Laihiala-Kankainen, S., Kala-Arvisto, U. & Kraav, I. 2010. Ninth graders’ values, goals and views about learning and school.  A comparative analysis in three countries: Finland, Russia, Estonia. Jyväskylä: Finnish Educational Research Association. Research in educational science, 49.

Publications on Russia

Laihiala-Kankainen, S. & Raschetina, S. 2006. Significant others in Finnish and Russian students’ lives. In  S.L. Läänesaar (Ed.) Environment and upbringing as percept to child’s future. Põltsamaa: Vali Press, 90-106.

Laihiala-Kankainen, S.  2009. Continuity and change: Recent developments in the Russian curriculum for the comprehensive school. In E. Ropo & T. Autio (Eds.) International conversations on curriculum studies. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 273-289.

Laihiala-Kankainen, S. 2010. Venäjän koulutuspolitiikka kamppailujen kohteena. Kasvatus (96) 4, 331-341.