Monday, 12 October 2009

Teacher Training: History, Part One

We can see the history of Finnish teacher training in three phases:

1) "Quasi-monastic" training, in order to educate the agrarian society
2) Teacher training in seminaries
3) University teacher training

Under Russian rule, a movement began to nationalize education and teacher training. A Finnish-speaking seminary opened up in the 1863, and a Swedish-speaking seminary opened in the 1870s.

The development of a basic national school increased the need for more structured teacher training.

Despite the enviable position that Finnish teachers enjoy today, this ascent to a high place in society took a great deal of effort. This included a resistance from the land-owning peasant class to having schools within their municipalities until the early 1900s, when, at that comparatively late time, nearly every municipality had a school (Simola, 2005).

The bitter Civil War of 1918 divided the country and also its views of teachers and education. The War led some to believe that only missionary-style teaching could save the immoral masses, some to stop believing in a universal society, and the elite to no longer believe in education for all (Simola, 2005).

Not until World War II did the country begin to re-unify in its view of teaching and education, as teachers once again became worthy of trust.

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