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Education of Finnish Student Teachers for Purposeful Teaching

Publication Authors: 
Kirsi Tirri and Ubani, M.
Publication Year: 
Publication Journal: 
The Journal for the Education of Teaching 38(5). DOI: 10.1080/02607476.2012.733188

The purpose of this article is to contribute to the discussion concerning teacher knowledge in teacher education from the Finnish perspective. The article focuses on Finnish secondary school student teachers’ reflection on the educational purposefulness of their teaching at the beginning of their pedagogical studies. The empirical data include student teachers from all school subjects in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Helsinki (N = 280) at the beginning of their one-year pedagogical programme, in 2010. According to the data, the student teachers emphasised some general purposes of teaching, regardless of the subject matter they taught. They all viewed themselves as responsible professionals whose task was to provide students with basic knowledge of their subject matter. Furthermore, they viewed themselves as responsible for the holistic education of the students, including their personal and ethical growth. We could also see some subject matter-specific purposes in the subject-specific teaching by student teachers of different subjects.