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Teacher training in Finland: a unique system

We discuss teacher training in Finland and the Future Classroom Lab project, which aims to rethink learning environments, with Sampo Forsström.

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We discuss teacher training in Finland and the project Future Classroom Lab, which aims to rethink learning environments, with Sampo Forsström.

Sampo Forsström taught for 20 years with young people and adults, then worked in teacher training at Eastern-Finland University. Today he is responsible for teacher training schools (teacher training schools).

What are training schools?

Much like university hospitals for medical students, teacher training schools are institutions affiliated with university education departments with which they collaborate closely. Future teachers, both classroom teachers and subject teachers, complete three of the four compulsory internships in their academic career, including the final internship which emphasizes the role of the teacher as searcher. In Finland all teachers have a master's degree in education and a large number even go on to doctorate.

We are never ready, we are learning every day. In Finland, it is possible for teachers to continue their studies in various fields of education, while working in the classroom. "- Sampo Forsström

Future Classroom Lab: towards new learning environments

Sampo Forsström is ambassador to Finland for the project Future Classroom Lab, a European initiative that emerged in Brussels in 2012 and whose aim is to improve learning environments, in particular with the integration of information and communication technologies. It does this by organizing workshops and seminars and by mobilizing decision-makers, members of the European Commission and educational experts.

The strengths and challenges of the Finnish education system

In this interview, Sampo Forsström explains that he is always looking for ways to share Finland's expertise in education but also to learn from different networks around the world. Even if it is internationally recognized, the Finnish education system is also facing challenges, such as that of adapting to the cultural diversity which increasingly marks schools. Sampo Forsström also emphasizes the importance of circle of trust in Finland which facilitates the integration of changes in education, as was the case with the new curriculum.

We invite you to listen this podcast to find out more about the education system and teacher training in Finland.

Click here to listen to the podcast. Good listening!

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About the Author

Marc-André Girard
Marc-André Girard
Marc-André Girard holds a bachelor's degree in humanities education (1999), a master's degree in history teaching (2003) and a master's degree in educational management (2013). He is currently a doctoral student in school administration. He specializes in change management in schools as well as in educational leadership. He is also interested in 21st century skills to be developed in education. He holds a managerial position in a public primary school and gives lectures on educational leadership, pedagogical approaches, change in the school environment as well as on the professionalization of teaching. He took part in educational expeditions to France, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Morocco. In September 2014, he published the book “Le change en milieu scolaire québécois” with Éditions Reynald Goulet and, in 2019, he published a trilogy on the school of the 21st century with the same publisher. He frequently collaborates with L'École branchée on educational issues. He is very involved in everything that surrounds the professional development of teachers and school administrators as well as the integration of ICT in education. In March 2016, he received a CHAPO award from AQUOPS for his overall involvement.