Induction in Finland?!
Teachers’ autonomy in Finland
In comparison to teachers in many other countries, a Finnish
teacher has a great deal of autonomy.
Does this mean that the teacher is left alone to deal with the
problems that arise behind the closed classroom door?
Is teacher autonomy creating into unreasonable demands that
threaten teachers’ professional well-being?
Many teachers in Finland find interacting with their own
colleagues not only a challenging task, but also a sometimes
surprisingly novel idea. (Jokinen & Välijärvi 2006.)
Teacher attrition seems to be growing in Finland
classroom teachers: 10 % and subject teachers 15 % (National board
of Education, 2000)
20 % of the Finnish teachers left the teaching profession at the very
beginning of their career. In the capital region, every third teacher
stopped as a teacher a few years after qualifying (Statistics Dept,
As many as every fourth of mathematics teachers in the capital region
have changed career within the first couple of years of their
qualification (Nieminen, 2007)
Why do teachers leave their profession in Finland?
varying rate of attrition depends on the area of teaching expertise, such as mathematics,
that is on demand in, for example, business, media or different organizations – or
modern languages for, e.g., EU careers
occupational crisis: teachers experience stress already at the beginning of their
careers. They felt disappointed with teacher’s work and the temporary employment
periods. Lack of appreciation of teacher’s work and lack of encouraging feedback
decreased their motivation. They were frustrated with the recurring tasks, difficult
pupils, parents and the heavy work load. Also, the imposed expectations of the
teacher’s role and behaviour were seen stressful. Especially male teachers
experienced low wages problematic, too.
crises related to the working environment: dysfunctional social relationships
with the colleagues and the school leaders, poor atmosphere and weak
leadership. Also, in the aftermath of the depression of the 1990s,
municipalities’ financial difficulties affected the work due to heavy
retrenchment. The teachers also felt that the decisions made by the
school district officials did not support their work.
increased uncertainty of the careers of Finns with a higher education
combined with the differentiation and individualization of career paths has
meant that it is now harder to anticipate the careers of new graduates
on the basis of average data on the job
Induction in Finland?!
There is no legislation related to induction in Finland, nor is there any
That’s why Finnish schools have no formal system for inducting newly
Education authorities and individual schools can induct or introduce
their new teachers as they like. It means that there are great
differences between schools in ways in which induction is
The arrangements for induction are casual and there is often a failure
to provide nay induction at all. (Jokinen, Heikkinen & Välijärvi 2005).
A case study of 9 secondary NQTs’ experiences on
induction (Leppälä & Sormunen 2010)
Introduction in school and school regulations 8/9
School organizes group meetings with other NQTs 2/9 (only
School organizes coaching on the job (in the classroom) 1/9
You observe teaching of colleagues1/9 (once)
You observe an expert teacher 1/9 (once)
You are observed during your lessons and you get feedback 0/9
Even if there is no national system for induction of new teachers, there
is a nationally identified need for induction of newly qualified teachers.
There have been discussion and official recommendations from the
Ministry of Education (Teacher Education Development Program
2001, 7; Opettajankoulutus 2020 2007, 46-47) to nationally develop
and intensify the guidance of newly qualified teachers.
Universities’ role in induction
The teacher education institutions are not involved in induction
because there is not an official induction phase in Finland.
According to the recommendations of the Ministry of Education,
the teacher education has to be developed and renewed towards a
continuum in which basic education, so called induction phase
professional education, and in-service education/training together form a
seamless continuum to support the individual teacher’s professional
“Osaava Verme” Project 2010-2011: Peer group
mentoring - Support for new teachers
A collaborative network between the Finnish teacher education
institutions, including the vocational teacher education institutions and
teacher education departments of universities
To promote professional development of new teachers through
mentoring and peer support.
To reinforce the professional competence of new teachers so that their
teacher education will become a meaningful continuum of life-long
To promote networking of...
young and experienced teachers
universities and vocational teacher education institutes (eg. mentor
municipalities, schools, teachers, school assistants and teacher educators
people involved in national and international research and development
work of mentoring in teachers' induction