Why Teacher Training is the Key? Meet our Finnish experts!!

By: Admin 01 April, 2017

It is a well-known that Finland’s teachers are an elite bunch, with only top students offered the chance to become teachers. It is also no secret that they are well-trained. But how does teacher training in Finland differ from teacher training in other countries?


  • About 25 percent of their students receive some kind of special support, but in regular classrooms, the teacher has an assistant in the classroom. It is very important that there aren’t too many students per teacher. The average class size for all grades is 21. In first and second grade, it’s 19.


  • All of the teacher-training is run by universities in Finland and all students do a five-year master’s degree. Because they are studying at the university, teacher education is research-based. Students have a lot of supervised teacher-training during their studies. They have ‘training schools’ next to universities — where the student teaches and gets feedback from a trained supervisor.


  • Teachers in Finland can choose their own teaching methods and materials. They are experts of their own work and they test their own students. This is also one of the reasons why teaching is such an attractive profession in Finland because teachers are working like academic experts with their own students in schools.


An educational system has to serve the local community, and it is very much tied to a country’s own history and society, therefore it is neither required nor mandatory to replicate the same education system policies in place in a different country. But teachers are really the key for a better educational system and the elements which are  really important to pay attention to are teacher training, in-service training and working conditions.


To get the real, In - hand experience of the specialised teacher training schools, the strategies followed by the Finnish schools and universities and their implementation, Eduexcellence is taking a batch of 30 school heads from across India to Finland from May 7 - May 13, 2017.



Some of the experts involved in the Finland program are :


Ms Kati Loponen     



Kati Loponen (M.Ed) is an experienced educator, who has worked as a class teacher & principal in Kortepohja Elementary School (K-6) in Jyväskylä, Finland and as Head of Faculty in an Emirati-Finnish partnership school in Abu Dhabi (2010-2013). Due to her years abroad she has an explicit view of the cornerstones of Finnish educational system from a practical point of view.


Over her career, she has been tutoring teacher students and is well experienced also in peer-group mentoring. During her years in Abu Dhabi she worked as a peer-group mentor for both teachers and a vice-principal in an Emirati teachers' in-service training programme offered by University of Jyväskylä. She also has high competence in tutoring teacher students and special education students of University of Jyväskylä during their teaching practice periods. She has practical expertise in teaching content through a second language (CLIL) and in integrating special education needs students in her classroom and is therefore very capable in using and developing diverse methods of teaching in her classroom.


Mr. Pasi Ikonen



Pasi Ikonen (M.Ed.) is an experienced teacher and teacher trainer. He is currently working as a Programme Manager and University Teacher in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Jyväskylä. Mr. Ikonen specialises in teacher education and has extensive experience of both initial and in-service Finnish teacher professional development.

Working at the Department of Teacher Education, University of Jyväskylä, he is heavily engaged with international school and teacher development processes in the European Union, Asia and the Middle East. Having studied in the United Kingdom and Finland, Mr Ikonen is qualified as a Finnish comprehensive school teacher.

Experienced in use of portfolios and formative assessment he has specialised in the use of cooperative learning and teaching methods for the past ten years. Mr Ikonen also has experience of international scientific and teacher professional development projects in several European countries including Kosovo, France and United Kingdom.

Takeaways for School Heads:


The Learning process of the Study Tour includes different modes of interaction; presentations, workshops, on-site visits and facilitated group work. These different learning opportunities create an intense and multifaceted package enabling participants to create action plans based on evidence, practical insights, experience, and teamwork.


One of the focuses in the learning process is to concentrate on making the most out of the knowledge, experiences, ideas and feelings of the people present with a strong emphasis on sustainability of the process in the future. That is why we see the participants as key persons for developing the best ideas in practice.


Meet the above experts in our 12th International Study Tour for School Leaders, in association with EduCluster Finland. To know more, Click Here.


This article has excerpts from ‘The Huffington Post’. Read the original article here.