HACETTEPE UNIVERSITESI EGITIM FAKULTESI DERGISI-HACETTEPE UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF EDUCATION, pp.298-310, 2013 (SSCI)
The purpose of this paper is to provide information for researchers and policy makers aiming at systematic improvement in teacher education in Turkey by highlighting possible lessons to be taken from Finland. To see the value added by Finnish teachers and teacher educators, the paper both reviews the philosophy behind teacher education in Finland and portrays the findings from a six-month qualitative inquiry. In an ethnographic research design, an in-depth analysis of the, teaching culture. was carried out through interviews, close observations, readings, interpretations, and document analysis. Current practices were investigated through 84 hours of participant observations, 36 hours of assistant teaching; and individual interviews done with 12 in-service teachers, 23 pre-service teachers, and 7 teacher educators. All data were compiled and conclusions were derived. The findings were presented under the headings of (1) philosophy and policy, (2) selection of student teachers, (3) pre-service years, and (4) in-service years. In this context, three main steps could be taken to improve teacher education in Turkey: (a) attract the best individuals to the profession with appropriate selection procedures; (b) provide the right training (no alternative route) with a considerable emphasis on research and practicum; and (c) respect teachers and trust on their autonomy to strengthen their social status.