The Threshold of Adversity: Resilience and the Prevention of Extremism Through Education

Abstract

This article introduces the concept of ‘threshold of adversity’ as an, at present, tentative means of understanding the turning points to radicalization and extremism within educational systems. The conceptual frame is, we argue, of pedagogical and policy relevance across and beyond Nordic countries. Across Nordic countries, the main objective for the prevention of radicalization and extremism through education (PVE-E) is to strengthen the students’ resilience against ideological influences. Given the specialist complexities of the interdisciplinary research literature on terrorism, from which much PVE-E derives, for teachers and policy-makers, understanding the theoretical contexts, which underlie such policy innovations and their pedagogical implementation, are, understandably, problematic. To discuss extremism and the possibilities of its prevention especially in the education sector, an understanding of what exactly is being prevented or fought against is needed. Our conceptual ‘threshold of adversity’ model offers at least a starting point for a more practicable pedagogical implementation.

Author Biographies

Saija Riikka Benjamin, University of Helsinki, Finland

Faculty of Educational Sciences

Liam Gearon, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Assistant Professor, Department of Education

Arniika Kuusisto, University of Stockholm, Sweden

Professor, Department of Child and Youth Studies

Pia Koirikivi, University of Helsinki, Finland

Faculty of Educational Sciences

Published
2021-08-27
Section
Articles
Keywords
threshold of adversity, resilience, prevention of radicalization and extremism through education (PVE-E), extremist mindset, metacognition