What is the future of ECE teacher profession? : Teacher’s agency in Finland through the lenses of policy documents

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/331181

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Kangas , J & Harju-Luukkainen , H 2021 , ' What is the future of ECE teacher profession? Teacher’s agency in Finland through the lenses of policy documents ' , The Morning Watch: Educational and Social Analysis , vol. 47 , no. 1 , pp. 48-75 . < https://journals.library.mun.ca/ojs/index.php/mwatch/article/view/2261 >

Title: What is the future of ECE teacher profession? : Teacher’s agency in Finland through the lenses of policy documents
Author: Kangas, Jonna; Harju-Luukkainen, Heidi
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Learning, Culture & Interventions (LECI)
University of Helsinki, University of Jyväskylä
Date: 2021-02
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: The Morning Watch: Educational and Social Analysis
ISSN: 0384-5028
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/331181
Abstract: In Finland the education system and teacher training programs have been under a reform during the past decade. All policy documents on the field of early childhood education have been renewed and this has had its influence on the teaching training practices and teachers’ work as well. Teachers are challenged to implement pedagogical methods to support children to become active agents of their learning. Further, also teachers should act as active agents in their professional development. Finnish teachers’ competences and quality of the teaching are defined in recent policy documents that introduce the future competences of teachers, including expertise agency and innovative approach. The aim of this research is to understand and critically evaluate the teacher’s agency and agentic approach of these recent policy documents through thematic content analysis. In total three policy documents were analyzed. As our theoretical frame we describe the agentic and life-long-learning approach in the educational context. We explain the Finnish early childhood education context and current policies and practice within the field of ECEC in Finland, through the viewpoint of teachers’ agency and competence. According to the results, the focus in the analysed documents was more on today and less on future aspects of the teacher’s agency. Further, the main focus on the teacher’s agency today was on notions describing pedagogical and relational agencies. Our results suggest that teachers are given a large number of different roles as well as values across the different documents. Teachers are asked to be ‘more of everything’ now and in the future. We conclude this paper with a critical reflection. We argue that policymakers in Finland, on the field of ECE, should take a more critical perspective on teacher’s future skill requirements especially regarding teachers’ agency.
Subject: 516 Educational sciences
Early childhood education
Finland
Agency
Teacher education
Agentic approach
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