Learning to Teach in Practice: Finland's Teacher Training Schools

May 17, 2017

How do the highest-achieving school systems in the world develop their teachers?

This short video illustrates teacher development at the Vikki Teacher Training School which is part of the University of Helsinki.

The International Teacher Policy Study, funded by the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) and the Ford Foundation, found that countries with high-performing school systems, create and manage a system of policies and practices that provide opportunities for teachers to learn sophisticated practices and continue to improve. 

Forward-thinking educational systems create a coherent set of policies designed to ensure quality teaching for all. As part of a comprehensive strategy for creating high-quality education for all students, Finland created a new approach to teacher preparation and training.  

Finland’s practice schools, like the Vikki School, are operating schools that provide in-depth training for future teachers who are studying education. The video shows how students work with supervising teachers who mentor and give feedback to the students. The mentor relationship empowers the students and develops trust between students and future teachers as well as between student teachers and their mentor.

Another important part of this system is the collaborative relationship with education faculty at the university, critical to connecting theory and practice.