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The Historical Background of School System and Teacher Image in Finland

Merja Paksuniemi

The purpose of the book is to identify and describe the teacher image that was inherent at the teacher training colleges in Finland during 1921 to 1945. It also points out what kind of pedagogical philosophies influenced the foundation of the Finnish school system. The book provides a historical point of view of teaching at the teacher training colleges and introduces the pedagogical methods which were used. The focus is on a teacher training college for women, located in Northern Finland, Tornio.

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1. Introduction ...................................................................................... 9 2. Theoretical starting points ................................................................ 11 2.1. The Finnish teacher image–requirements and changes ............ 11 2.2. Teacher training, professional development and maturity ........ 17 2.3. The teacher image ..................................................................... 22 2.4. Method of research and source material ................................... 24 3. At the roots of the Finnish school system ......................................... 27 3.1. Aiming to produce educated citizens for society ..................... 27 3.2. Christianity and decency through discipline and order ............ 29 3.3. The development of compulsory education .............................. 33 4. Teacher training colleges in Finland ................................................ 41 4.1. Herbart-Zillerism as a pedagogical guideline ........................... 41 4.2. The teacher training college of Tornio ...................................... 45 5. The first steps toward professionalism ............................................. 49 6. The development of the teacher personality ..................................... 55 6.1. Emphasis of academic subjects ................................................. 55 6.2. Playing the harmonium and singing ......................................... 56 6.3. Practical skills for life ............................................................... 58 6.4. Gymnastics, games, and sports ................................................ 61 7. Process factors that strengthen the teacher image ........................... 65 7.1. Practical training at the Training school ................................... 65 8 7.2. Supplementary activities and their impact to the teacher image ......................................................................................... 72 7.3. Controlling students’ free time ................................................. 76 8. The formation of the teacher image ................................................. 83 8.1. The first steps toward professionalism ...................................... 83 8.2. The development of the teacher personality ............................. 84 8.3. Process factors that strengthened the teacher image ................ 85 9. Conclusion ........................................................................................ 87 Resources .............................................................................................. 91

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