THE ROLE OF TEACHERS IN THE FINNISH EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM: High Professional Autonomy and Responsibility

Hannele Niemi, Jari Lavonen, Arto Kallioniemi, Auli Toom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this chapter is to introduce the main features of the Finnish educational system and how they are related to teachers’ work. The chapter describes teachers’ professional autonomy and responsibilities in the Finnish schools. Many cornerstones, such as equity, for example, have remained principle to organizing education and schooling, but multiple societal changes and changing conceptions of teaching learning and knowledge set new demands for teachers. Currently, the Finnish educational system is in the middle of significant reforms at all levels of education that bring many demands to teachers’ pre- and in-service training. This chapter summarizes the key elements of the reforms and reflects on how teachers and schools could be supported in the midst of these reforms and how they could become learning communities both for students and teachers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Teacher’s Role in the Changing Globalizing World
Subtitle of host publicationResources and Challenges Related to the Professional Work of Teaching
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9789004372573
ISBN (Print)9789004372559
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • educational reforms
  • responsibility
  • schools as learning communities
  • teacher’s professional autonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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