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University of Lapland and the Teacher Training


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Title: University of Lapland and the Teacher Training

University of Lapland and the Teacher Training
  • Edited by
  • Principal Eija Valanne, PhD.
  • Teacher Training School of the University of

Finland in Brief
  • Situated in northern Europe with an area of 338
    145 km2 of which
  • 68 forest,
  • 10 water and
  • 8 cultivated land
  • 5,2 million people with average density of 17
    persons per square kilometer
  • Sovereign parliamentary republic
  • Official languages Finnish (91,9 ) and Swedish
    (5,5 )
  • GPD 28 643 / capita (in 2004)

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Basic Education
  • Finnish children start their actual schooling at
    the age of seven at a comprehensive school.
  • Basic education is provided free of charge
    including all the school material and warm meals
    every day.
  • The nine-year education is the same for all
  • The leaving certificate gives eligibility for all
    types of upper secondary education and training.

  • A school year is 190 school days, starting in
    mid- August and ending in early June.
  • The maximum duration of a school day is five
    lessons during the first two years of basic
    education and up to seven lessons after that (19
    30 lessons per week).
  • The government determines
  • the national objectives of basic
  • education and the allocation of lesson hours
    between different subjects.
  • Schools curriculums are based on the national
    core curriculum drawn up by the National Board of

Upper Secondary Education
  • After the basic education half of the age group
    choose the upper-secondary school (another half
    continue education in vocational studies).
  • General upper secondary education is course-based
    and ends in a national matriculation examination
    generally in three years.
  • Before graduating, a minimum of 75 courses have
    to be passed.
  • The national matriculation examination comprises
    exams in the mother tongue, the second national
    language, the first foreign language,
    mathematics, humanistic studies and science
  • Four of the exams have to be passed for the
    matriculation certificate, which provides
    eligibility for universities and higher
    vocational education.

  • A three-yearly global assessment that
  • examines the performance of 15-year-olds in key
    subject areas as well as a wider range of
    educational outcomes
  • Including students attitudes to learning, their
    beliefs about themselves, and their learning
  • collects contextual data from students
    schools, parents and systems to identify policy
  • Coverage
  • Representative samples of between 3,500 and
    50,000 15-year-old students drawn in each country
  • Most federal countries also draw regional samples
  • PISA covers roughly 90 of the world economy .

Mean science scores OECD countries
OECD (2007), PISA 2006 Science Competencies for
Tomorrows World, Table 2.1c
Mean reading scores OECD countries
OECD (2007), PISA 2006 Science Competencies for
Tomorrows World, Table 6.1c
Mean mathematics scores OECD countries
OECD (2007), PISA 2006 Science Competencies for
Tomorrows World, Table 6.2c
Reasons for the learning results
  • Basic teaching can be characterized as efficient
  • The time students spend studying was one of the
    lowest in the countries surveyed
  • The resources allocated to education are OECD
  • Teachers commitment and high ethics are the key
    strengths of our education
  • Teachers profession is highly appreciated
  • All the basic education teachers have a Masters
  • Teachers are quite independent and trustworthy
  • There are
  • no inspections
  • no obligatory national testing during
  • basic education
  • no public ranking lists

The University of Lapland
  • The northernmost university
  • in Finland and in the European Union.
  • The University of Lapland is located in the city
    of Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle.
  • 4,500 Students
  • 600 Employees (teaching and research 48 , other
    personnel 52 )
  • Annual Budget 48 million euros
  • Lapland University Foundation promotes teaching,
    research, and the activities of the student

Five Faculties
  • Art and Design
  • Education
  • Law
  • Social Sciences
  • Tourism and Busines

Faculty of Education
  • Degree Programmes
  • Education
  • Adult Education
  • Media Education
  • Teacher Training
  • Special characteristics of the Northern
    regions inclusive education and teaching in
    sparsely populated areas
  • Substantial research in womens studies and
    media education

The Main Elements of Teacher Education Consist of
Studies in
  • Academic disciplines
  • Research Studies consisting of methodological
    studies including a BA thesis and an MA thesis
  • Pedagogical studies obligatory for all teachers
    and include teaching practice
  • Communication, language and ICT studies
  • A personal study plan
  • Optional studies

Abilities needed in teaching professions
  • The ability to support different learners
  • The ability to co-operate with other teachers in
    schools or other educational settings
  • The ability to promote co-operation with parents,
    authorities, businesses, etc.
  • The ability to develop and improve the curriculum
    and learning environments
  • The ability to solve problems in school life
  • The ability to reflect on ones own professional

The Unique Way of Organizing Teacher Training in
  • Every university organizing teacher education has
    a teacher training school.
  • There are 13 teacher training schools, which are
    administratively part of the faculties of
  • The quality of supervision in teacher training
    schools is considered to be as particularly high.
  • The functional connection between teacher
    training schools, departments of education and
    other university departments
  • Applying educational and didactic theory and
    know-how in practice
  • Evaluation of teaching practice and supervision
  • Schools operations are governed by universities
    and financed by the Ministry of Education.

Teacher Training Schools in Finland
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Duties of Teacher Training Schools
  • Basic and upper secondary education
  • Student teachers guidance
  • Teaching experiments and research
  • In-service training

7126 m2 in three buildings
Two old buildings from the years 1948 and 1952
One new wing from the year 2000
Teacher Training School of the University of
Music classes
  • From the third grade on
  • 4-5 lessons of music per week
  • Instrumental learning
  • School choir
  • Performing
  • experiences

Environmental studies including outdoor activities
  • Experiences of nature
  • Knowledge of nature
  • Taking care of the nature
  • Outdoor activities that get more challenging the
    older the children get
  • Exploring the neighborhood woods
  • Camping out in the woods
  • Canoeing trips
  • Hiking in the wilderness

Physical education classes
  • Gives the pupils possibility to learn to enjoy
    different kind of sports by having time to really
    learn the skills
  • Gives student teachers possibility to concentrate
  • on physical education lessons
  • Enables experimental studies in the class

Teaching practices in the university of lapland
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References and further information
  • Reseach-based Teacher Education in Finland
    Reflections by Finnish Teacher Educators, 2006,
    Ritva Jakku-Sihvonen and Hannele Niemi (eds.)
  • Education in Finland 2006, Statistics Finland
  • Teacher education in Finland,
  • PISA 2003 tutkimus, http//
  • Education and Science in Finland, 2006, Ministry
    of Education
  • http//
  • http// (curricula)
  • http//
  • http//