Original Research

A Finnish model of teacher education informs a South African one: A teaching school as a pedagogical laboratory

Anni Loukomies, Nadine Petersen, Jari Lavonen
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 8, No 1 | a593 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v8i1.593 | © 2018 Anni Loukomies, Nadine Petersen, Jari Lavonen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 October 2017 | Published: 13 June 2018

About the author(s)

Anni Loukomies, Viikki Teacher Training School, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland and Department of Childhood Education, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Nadine Petersen, Department of Childhood Education, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Jari Lavonen, Department of Childhood Education, University of Johannesburg, South Africa and Department of Education, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, South Africa


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Abstract

In this study, we examined student teachers’ learning during their teaching placement period in Finland and South Africa. The setting of the inquiry in both countries was a ‘teaching’ school, affiliated to a university teacher education programme. The teaching school is also referred to as an educational innovation that was transferred from the Finnish context to the South African context. Data were collected through an interview protocol. The findings show that the students, like many of their counterparts in different parts of the world, focused on teaching tools and methods as well as classroom management as a gateway to their teaching career. The extended teaching placement period at both the university teaching schools was expected to yield some findings about the intersection of teaching practice and its supporting theories because of the close collaboration of the schools and the universities. Some of the findings satisfied this expectation while other parts did not, confirming that initial teacher education may be regarded as a platform for learning to be teachers, but it has its own limits even in a pedagogical ‘laboratory’. The transfer of the educational innovation was regarded as successful.


Keywords

Pre-service teacher education, university teaching school, teaching placement period, teacher knowledge, origin of teacher knowledge, transfer of innovation

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