EDUCATING PROFESSIONAL TEACHERS THROUGH THE MASTER’S LEVEL TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMME IN FINLAND
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INTRODUCTION. Teacher professionalism is discussed in contexts of the international research literature and the Finnish education system. Important issues such as the PISA test are useful to analyse the Finnish education system from an education policy perspective. METHOD. A short general overview of teacher professionalism research is presented and the Finnish educational context and the role of teachers are discussed. Teacher education—that is, how student teachers become professionals in curriculum design and instructional and assessment methodologies— is also analysed. RESULTS. Teacher professionalism in the Finnish context means a versatile knowledge base, collaboration and networking skills, competence for life-long-learning and, moreover, an ability to use these potentials innovatively in order to act effectively. Several reasons explain how teacher professionalism is in Finland: The reforms made in the education system in the 1980s; the way Finnish teachers are prepared to have a broad view of the competences that are needed to learn in the 21st century; and a culture of trust regarding the way teachers ensure the learning process of their students. DISCUSSION. Finnish teachers plan and implement teaching and assess their own teaching, students’ learning and learning outcomes, collaborate with other teachers and society and, additionally, continuously develop their teaching profession within the whole school context. Teachers have a big responsibility concerning the way their students learn, but at the same time teachers can develop their own autonomy in designing the curriculum, using instructional strategies and assessment methods.