A1 Journal article – refereed
Class teacher trainees’ conceptions of their own learning, mentoring and tutoring in teaching

List of Authors: Marjaana Soininen, Tuula Merisuo-Storm
Publisher: MCSER – Mediterranean Center of Social and Educational Research
Place: Rome
Publication year: 2014
Journal: Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences
Volume number: 5
Issue number: 22
Number of pages: 10
eISSN: 2039-2117


Class teacher education in Finland differs in several aspects from the training the future teachers get in other countries. First, the training takes place at universities. Second, it takes five years to finish the studies. Third, along the teacher’s certificate the students get the master’s degree. Fourth, the teaching training takes place mainly in the training schools connected to the universities. Fifth, the students entering the Finnish class teacher education are older than in many other countries. The teaching practice at the Department of Teacher Education in Rauma Unit is divided into four practice periods: basic teaching practice 1, basic teaching practice 2, thematic/research teaching practice, and subject specific teaching practice. The training is altogether 26 study credits out of 300 ECTS. The teaching practice is supervised by tutors who are teachers within the department of teacher education, in Finland they are usually lecturers of different subjects, and by mentors who are teachers working at the schools where student teachers are trained. This article focuses on how student teachers reflect their learning, and how they evaluate practical training and the role of a tutor and a mentor. The research instrument is an electronic questionnaire, which the trainees answered after each four training periods. The number of respondents was 239. The type of research is qualitative. The results of the study show that during the first training period some of the trainees started to think about teaching as a profession. In addition, they started to understand the role of a mentor. However, they claimed that some mentors had not found out the main idea of mentoring. According to the students, several mentors clung to their own ideas and did not enable the reflective thinking of trainees. During the second training period trainees started to see a teacher as a transformer of knowledge not just a deliverer of knowledge. In this practice, a tutor as well as a mentor had an important role in advising a trainee to take a more independent role. The third teaching practice included teaching of several different school subjects. Consequently, the roles of a mentor and a tutor were sometimes confusing for the trainee. The mentor was supposed to give theoretical advice and the latter practical advice. During the fourth practice student teachers could understand the children of different ages better as well as reflect their own behavior in the classroom more skillfully than in the first practice. 

Last updated on 2019-29-01 at 13:22