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A new Teacher Education Development Programme launched: Teachers? competence must be developed methodically throughout their careers

Ministry of Education and Culture
Publication date 13.10.2016 12.00 | Published in English on 3.1.2017 at 10.21
Press release

A development programme aiming to reform teacher education was submitted to Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Minister of Education and Culture, on Thursday. The vision of teacher education development is to create together the best competence for the world. Development programme implementation will be supported by almost EUR 10 million. In total, EUR 60 million will be allocated to improving teachers? competence over three years.

"The best teachers in the world are the ultimate guarantee for the quality of Finnish education. We must ensure that the strong appreciation of and trust in a teacher's work are preserved and that the brightest young people in each age group wish to choose careers as teachers. Over EUR 60 million will be allocated to developing teacher education and improving teachers? competence. Investments in teacher education are also the best way of responding to the challenges our education system faces, including deteriorating learning outcomes", says Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Minister of Education and Culture.

The objective of the teacher education development programme is that a systematic and coherent structure will be adopted in teachers? competence development during their careers. Competence management should be goal-oriented. Higher education and other educational institutions as well as early childhood education and care units will prepare competence development plans in collaboration with their staff. These plans will underpinned by strategic plans and evaluations of competence by education providers.

"It is important that each teacher has a possibility for competence development throughout his or her career. The programme aims to secure this possibility for every teacher. Particular attention has been paid to building up the vocational skills of young teachers and their possibilities of receiving support", says Minister Grahn-Laasonen.

Successful student admissions will result in the most competent teachers. Higher education institutions will develop the student admissions of teacher education in cooperation. Obstacles to teachers' flexible mobility and studying for a dual teaching qualification will be removed. Pedagogical studies for teachers will be developed to provide capabilities for working as a teacher in different operating environments.

Teacher students' involvement in developing the studies will be encouraged. When teachers learn a positive attitude towards development during their studies, they will carry it with them to working life. Learner-centeredness is strongly emphasised in the development programme. Teacher education programmes, learning environments and working methods will support the development of new creative expertise. The aim is at emboldening teachers to make experiments and mainstreaming working methods that stem from learners' needs in all levels of teacher education – from core studies and induction training to competence development during a teacher's career.

Teachers' competence development during their careers is increasingly taking place in teams and networks. Mentoring will become a more systematic part of teachers' induction training, especially in early parts of their careers. This means that educational institutions will train more peer group mentors.

Strategic management in educational institutions will be strengthened by developing leadership training. It will be ensured that teacher education imparts teachers with capabilities for taking responsibility and participating in leadership processes.

A research-based approach in teacher education will be reinforced. Utilisation of the latest research on teaching and learning in teacher education is vital. The objective of the development programme is to ensure that teacher education remains attractive and strong, and that teacher students assimilate an inquiry-based and creative approach to the teacher's work.
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In January 2016, the Ministry of Education and Culture appointed a Teacher Education Forum to reform the core education and induction and in-service training of teachers. Almost one hundred forum members and experts
participated in working on the Teacher Education Development Programme.

In addition, nearly two thousand experts in the education sector, students and teachers participated in preparing the development programme through an online think tank.

Teacher education development is part of the Government's key project on New comprehensive school aiming to reform comprehensive school, learning environments and teachers' competence.

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Further information:
-Project Manager Sanna Vahtivuori-Hänninen (Ministry of Education and Culture), tel. +358 (0)9 3 30134
-Special Advisor Matias Marttinen (requests for interviews with the Minister), tel. +358 (0)44 269 3113
General education Key projects and reforms