Seminar on Teacher Education in the Nordics

The 6th December 2021 saw scholars from Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Germany gathering online to discuss teacher training in the Nordic countries at a seminar entitled, “The pedagogical courses of teacher education programmes in the Nordic countries.

“A look beyond the teacher education programmes in the Nordic countries exposes frequent extensive reforms carried out during the two last decades. As a contrast, in Finland, no comprehensive reform has been implemented since the 1970s.” explain Eyvind Elstad, Sven-Erik Hansén and other co-authors in a forthcoming book about the subject.

At the seminar, Eyvind Elstad from the University of Oslo explained how new reforms are also in the pipeline now, evidenced by recent declarations and white papers issued by the Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Icelandic governments. The teacher education programs in Greenland and the Faroe Islands have also undergone changes, but not as comprehensively.

Hans Harryson from the University of the Faroe Islands presented his research into teacher education programmes in Norway, Denmark, and Iceland, which included outlining his central findings, such as, that the pedagogical disciplines are usually the most theoretical in teacher education. Elsebeth Jensen from the VIA University College in Denmark explained the new proposals for teacher education reforms in Denmark. Björn Åstrand from Åmea University in Sweden talked about “Swedish teacher education today: reforms and trends and the question of the core of education”. Thuridur Jona Johannsdottir from the University of Iceland commented on all four of these presentations and summarized what conclusions can be drawn. One particularly pertinent question is whether the governmental policies in the Nordic countries are characterized by what can be labelled a "practical turn"?

Please note that there is a upcoming symposium on the topic at the Nordic Education Research Association conference in Reykjavik 1-3 June 2022.

The seminar was supported by ReNEW.