New book on the Finnish school system
One of the cornerstones in the success of the Finnish school system is the high-quality university education of teachers.
The aim of Finnish teacher education is to guide student teachers to adopt a research-oriented approach in their school work. They learn to apply the most recent advances of research in their teaching. Teachers' pedagogical expertise enables them to evaluate their work and adjust their teaching methods to the needs of different learners.
Teachers value the research-oriented approach. Helena Niku, a teacher of English and German in a Helsinki secondary school, tells an example:
― We have several students with Asperger in our school. Teaching them, I have recalled the pedagogical studies I learned when I did my practice-teaching.
Teacher students and practising teachers understand the research-oriented approach, among other things, as openness to new information and actively improving their own expertise.
More on the subject can be found in a recently published book, Miracle of Education. The Principles and Practices of Teaching and Learning in Finnish Schools. The book, edited by Hannele Niemi, Auli Toom and Arto Kallioniemi, involves contributions by more than 30 experts on different aspects of the Finnish school system. Among the themes are societal factors contributing to education and schooling in Finland; Finnish teachers' views on the educational purposefulness of their teaching; and the use of information and communication technologies in Finnish school life.
Those with further interest in the subject are recommended to read the description of the Finnish national curriculum in chapter six of the book.
Miracle of Education is targeted at researchers, teachers, students, journalists as well as policy-makers interested in Finland’s success in PISA learning evaluations.
The book launch will take place on thursday, March 22, at 2 pm, in the Think Corner.
Text: Maria Niku
University of Helsinki, digital communications
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