Student teachers’ experiences of research-based teacher education and its relationship to their future profession – A Finnish case

Gunilla Eklund


As a result of well-known international evaluations, an intense debate regarding teacher education has emerged focusing on its development in order to improve the national economy. Teacher education in Finland has been university-based for decades and has received a great deal of publicity because of its research-based approach. However, there is a lack of empirical research on the consequences of such an approach to teacher education. This study focuses on investigating (1) student teachers’ experiences of research-based teacher education and (2) how they experience research-based education in relation to the teaching profession? One hundred and eleven student teachers wrote essays on these two research questions, and qualitative content analysis was used as the data analysis method. The results revealed that most student teachers principally understand the concept of research-based teacher education and appreciate this form of education because it provides them with high-level competence, status, and good job opportunities. However, they sometimes find it difficult to relate this type of education to the teaching profession and perceive that this approach does not provide them with enough practical tools before entering the reality of a teacher’s work.

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