Teaching as a Master’s Level Profession in Finland: Theoretical Reflections and Practical Solutions

  • Pertti Kansanen
Part of the Professional Learning and Development in Schools and Higher Education book series (PROD, volume 10)


In the Finnish teacher education system, teachers (in grades 1–12) pass a master’s degree in the university. In this chapter, the most important theoretical aspects that underpin the Finnish teacher education programmes are described and analysed, and we consider why it may be called research-based teacher education. The primary class pre-service teachers write their master’s thesis in ‘education’, while the secondary subject pre-service teachers write it in their ‘main subject’ within their own faculty (mathematics, physics, history, language, religion, etc.). Teacher education is considered from two perspectives or strata. The first deals with everyday practice and can be called a basic level of teacher education; the other stratum may be called a conceptual level of teacher education. An organising theme, a research-based approach, is applied as an integrative principle throughout the programme. It is built on evidence of research, teachers’ pedagogical thinking, and close theory-practice relation. University practice schools have an important role connecting practical experiences with theoretical studies. These schools and their teachers, mentors of student teaching at the same time, are specialised in teacher education and work closely with the supervisors of the university department. The system is supported with a model of peer-group mentoring in order to facilitate adaptation into the profession at the beginning of the career.


Teacher Education Teaching Practice Pedagogical Content Knowledge Teacher Education Programme Class Teacher 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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