Emphasis on learning skills
Traditionally, school teaching has been about subjects, but the focus is gradually shifting to teachers providing not only subject knowledge, but also wider learning skills. In the future, teaching will become increasingly based on problems and phenomena. In practice, this means projects that cross subject boundaries and focus on complex phenomena, thereby developing students’ thinking and problem-solving skills. Such skills also enable lifelong learning.
Digitalisation promotes the democratisation of learning
We believe that future teaching will be collaborative, student centred and open to all. Phenomenon-based learning and the development of learning skills will be emphasised both at school and in the workplace. The latest teaching methods focus on students seeing and experiencing things for themselves – an area in which digital technologies offer almost limitless opportunities. New technologies will be integrated into teaching, and teaching facilities will be tailored to support learning. Our Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) will make teaching available across borders. The University of Helsinki is a pioneer and a fearless experimenter in learning.
Changing teacher education
Finland wants to retain its position as a world leader in teacher education. This is why teaching must be continuously developed.
What knowledge and skills do teachers need now and in the future? For the answer, we should look to today’s schools and their realities. Teacher education must respond to what is happening at schools right now. A project for the reform of teacher education, managed by the University of Helsinki and funded by the Ministry of Culture and Education, is seeking solutions and offering support and training to current and future teachers. The aims are to redesign the learning environments used in teacher education, strengthen the innovative skills of teachers and teacher educators, and promote the development of educational leadership.
The reform of teacher education is also one of the spearhead projects of the Finnish government. Teaching methods are changing. The teachers studying or graduating today will be teaching 30 years from now. We must consider the knowledge and skills needed then.