Relationships of Teachers’ Professional Competences, Active Learning and Research Studies in Teacher Education in Finland

Hannele Niemi

Abstract


The article provides research-based knowledge on the quality of teacher education in Finland. The study is based on an empirical survey among student teachers in two universities. The research questions aimed to find out how teacher education has provided student teachers with competences for a high quality teaching profession and what kinds of relationships can be found between different competences. It also investigated what relationships can be found between professional competences and active learning methods used in teacher education, and between professional competences and research studies in teacher education.

The highest professional competences have been achieved in the following skills: designing of instruction, critical reflection on one’s own work, becoming aware of the ethical basis of the teaching profession, lifelong professional growth, self-evaluation of one’s own teaching, using teaching methods, and development of one’s own educational philosophy. The strongest relationships exist between active learning and the professional competences in those tasks that require a strong reflective orientation and commitment to the teaching profession. Student teachers see that research studies had contributed to their professional development. The most important abilities they had learnt through research studies were: critical thinking, independent thinking, inquiry, scientific literacy and questioning phenomena and knowledge. The student teachers see research studies as valuable for the teaching profession and regard their future work as continuous developmental task. Research studies also received criticism. The quality of teaching and arrangements were not always good enough. There is also a need to strengthen teacher education to provide more skills to student teachers for cooperation with partners outside a school community and for tasks outside classrooms.

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Editor-in-Chief: Prof Norbert Pachler
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
ISSN 1746-9082

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