Heidi Anneli Maria Rautionmaa
Heidi Rautionmaa gives trainings on interfaith issues mainly for teachers, people of the religious communities and youth. She has 20 years of experience in organizing various interfaith activities between women, youth and religious communities, on the grass roots in Finland and internationally, for example, through the Global Council Trustee of United Religions Initiative and as a co-chair of Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network.
Currently Heidi is a board member of European Network on Religion & Belief, a committee member of Religions for Peace (RfP) in Europe and an ambassador of the Parliament of World’s Religions. Heidi chairs the RfP Women of Faith Network and Faiths Without Borders (Uskot ilman rajoja ry) in Finland.
She works as a project planner for teacher training at the faculty of educational sciences at the University in Helsinki in providing study material for inter worldview education. She is also writing her PhD theses on pedagogy of inter worldview education.
Interreligious Activities and Initiatives
Inter worldview dialogue education at pre-school
Kindergarten teachers came from 100 kilometers away to the capital of Helsinki to visit religious places. Almost all of them had never visited mosque, synagogue and temple before. Teachers found it meaningful that they did not only see those places but they got to know people from different faiths and to receive training of inter worldview dialogue education ( by a pastor Heidi Rautionmaa and imam Omer Mahamed Hussein) at the same time. They also visited the church. It is noticeable that also some head teachers and directors of kindergartens participated this training in order to learn how to educate the children for especially religious diversity and how to take a notice on especially religious diversity of the group of children.
One of the aims of these visits were especially to encourage kindergarten teachers to be in collaboration with families of different religions. It has been noticed in Finland that some teachers are afraid to talk about religion with the parents. That creates problems in child´s identity building if the growing environment does not allow religious identity to be noticed naturally. Worldview education is mentioned in the latest core curriculum for early childhood in Finland. This asks for example understanding of the concept of inter worldview dialogue and certain competences that educators should have, and this training specially focused on some of them to offer. One of them was to boost toward self-reflection and to be more open and to be interested in learning from each other.