British Academy grant funds research into teacher education

As a result of recent research grant from the British Academy exploring the Finnish teacher education system, Dr Jennifer Chung at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham is running an end of project seminar at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 30th October.

Dr Chung, Education and Social Science Lecturer at St Mary’s School of Management and Social Sciences, specialises in researching education in Nordic countries stemming from her doctoral dissertation, which explored the reasons for Finland’s top outcomes in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

This British Academy grant was awarded to Dr Chung to expand on this research area following a 2010 White Paper called The Importance of Teaching, which suggested that normaalikoulu (university training schools) in Finland have become a model for teacher education reform.

Her research, ‘Emulating the Finnish teacher education model: Uncovering the implications for UK teacher education policy’ has provided the basis for the symposium which is being held at the Houses of Parliament later this month. It will allow academics, teachers, educators and government officials to discuss links between education theory, policy and practice particularly in relation to the implementation of university teaching schools within the UK and their potential impact.

In addition, part of the grant funded three papers, which Dr Chung presented at academic conferences:

The Finnish normaalikoulu: An example of school-based, university affiliated teacher education for England?

Finnish Teacher Education: A model for English teacher education of contradictions in ideology?

Finnish Teacher Education: Transnational contexts of education policy formation and the migration of educational policy.

About the research Dr Chung commented, “The research investigating Finnish teacher education and the normaalikoulu uncovered the rigour of the Finnish teacher education system.  The professionalisation of teaching has allowed for Finland’s high outcome in PISA.  The symposium brings together policymakers, academics, and teacher educators in order to view the successes of Finnish education and how they apply to improving education in Britain.”

The symposium is being held on Wednesday 30th October at Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, London. For more information and to book your place please contact Dr Chung on jennifer.chung@smuc.ac.uk