01 SES 01 B, Professional Development
In Finland ‘equality’ has been made one of the guiding concepts of the school system: “Education shall promote civilisation and equality in society and pupils' prerequisites for participating in education” (Basic Education Act 628/1998, 2 §). Furthermore, the Finnish school system relies on its high quality teacher education; teachers in primary, lower and upper secondary schools must hold a master’s degree. Yet, while the teacher education has been praised, there is more variation in the available teachers’ in-service programs (Sahlberg, 2011; Ministry of Education, 2007). In-service training practices are diffuse, unsystematic and cumulated, and one main reason is that in-service training, previously funded by the government, is no longer free for basic education providers. (Jakku-Sihvonen, 2012.) That has led to the current situation where municipalities as education providers are unequal in relation to their financial capability to organize teachers’ in-service training. In addition, there are differences in possibilities to participate between teacher groups and educational institutions (Ministry of Education and Culture, 2012; Sahlberg, 2011).
In 2010 as a response to observed inequalities the Ministry of Education and Culture launched an initiative, ‘Skilfull’ [Osaava], a new form of in-service training for teachers consisting of three components: raising the competence of individuals; development of work communities and networks; annual seminar. The basics of ‘Skilful’ are based on the former government’s (2007–2010) policy for improving the attractiveness of teaching career. The purpose is to ensure systematic development of education personnel’s competencies, activate those who participate less frequently in in-service training and improve equal access to professional development. By the day ‘Skilful’ has reached 70 000 educators yearly and been funded with 45 million euros.
Finland is not the only country struggling with teachers’ in-service training. According to Commission to the Council and the European Parliament (2007) the existing investments in the continuing training and development of the teaching workforce are insufficient; there is no Member State in which the minimum duration of training exceeds five days per year. (Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, 2007).
In-service training for educators is reflected here through the concept of ‘capacity building’. Capacity building consists of different aspects, and according to Fullan (2005) is about developing the collective ability, i.e. dispositions, skills, knowledge, motivation and resources. It is acting together and bringing about positive change to schools. In this study’s context the change is understood widely; not being only an inevitable consequence of political demands to change but it is seen as a need to change something in the way work is carried out within the professional communities; how to raise the teacher competence. All in all it is about making a change in the school cultures.
In this study the question of equality leads to crucial question about equal distribution of possibilities for teachers to participate in in-service training, and how has the initiative ’Skilful’ succeeded in activating the teachers who formerly were less active in their participation. Furthermore, when linking it to the idea of capacity building in schools; do Finnish municipalities and schools get enough tools for raising their teachers’ competence as basis for school community based sharing of knowledge and skills, and to keep up the motivation? Thus, build the capacity of the working community, and that way ensure equal access to quality education for every student in Finland.
Basic Education Act 628/1998, Retrieved from http://www.finlex.fi/en/laki/kaannokset/1998/en19980628.pdf Commission of the European Communities. (2007). Improving the Quality of Teacher Education. Communication from the commission to the Council and the European parliament 3.8.2007. Brussels. Retrieved from: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/education_training_youth/lifelong_learning/c11101_en.htm Creswell, J.W. & Plano Clark, V.L. (2011). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. Sage. Thousand Oaks Fullan, M. (2005). Leadership & sustainability. System Thinkers in Action. Thousand Oaks: Corwin press. Holappa, A-S. (ed.) (2012). Osaava -ohjelman käynnistysvaiheen arviointi 2010–2011. Kehittämishankkeiden itsearviointeja ja hyviä käytänteitä. Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriön julkaisuja 28. Jakku-Sihvonen, R. (2012). Peruskoulusta perusopetukseksi. In R. Jakku-Sihvonen & J. Kuusela. 2012. Perusopetuksen aika. Selvitys koulujen toimintaympäristöä kuvaavista indikaattoreista. Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriön työryhmämuistioita ja selvityksiä 2012:13. Helsinki: Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriö, 44–51. Ministry of Education and Culture. (2013). Annual report 2012 – Skillful-initiative. Retrieved from http://www.minedu.fi/export/sites/default/OPM/Koulutus/aikuiskoulutus_ja_vapaa_sivistystyoe/liitteet/Osaava_Toimintakertomus2012.pdf Ministry of Education and Culture. (2012). Education and research 2011-2016. A development plan. Reports of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland. 2012:3. Retrieved from http://www.minedu.fi/OPM/Julkaisut/2012/Kehittamissuunnitelma.html?lang=fi&extra_locale=en Ministry of Education. (2007). Opettajankoulutus 2020. Opetusministeriön työryhmämuistioita ja selvityksiä 2007:44. Helsinki: Opetusministeriö. Sahlberg, P. (2011). Teacher as our strength: An international point of view. American Educator. Summer 2011, 34–38.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.