Galoot wrote:excellent teacher training--only about 1 in 10 applicants to the teacher training programs (there are two of them) get admitted.
I've read several of Diane Ravitch's (the article author) books and many of her articles over the years. I agree with her on a lot, disagree with her on a lot (testing for example) but certainly have a great deal of respect for her. She has long been a critic, as I am, of the way teachers are trained in the US. She is generally not a fan of ed schools though perhaps not as extremist as I am. She is a believer that teachers should go through regular academic programs. A history teacher should have a regular degree in history, for example. This is the exception in the US.
So how do the Finns train their teachers? I think you omitted the most important part. From the article:
"admission to these elite teacher education programs is highly competitive: only one of every ten applicants is accepted. There are no alternative ways to earn a teaching license. Those who are accepted have already taken required high school courses in physics, chemistry, philosophy, music, and at least two foreign languages. Future teachers have a strong academic education for three years, then enter a two-year master’s degree program. Subject-matter teachers earn their master’s degree from the university’s academic departments, not—in contrast to the US—the department of teacher education, or in special schools for teacher education."
The main thing I learned in ed school is that, given how we train teachers, it is a miracle that our schools are not even worse than they are.
BTW: My kids went to Catholic school. Some of their teachers may have had govt teaching licenses. I suspect that many did not. It was not a requirement by the school. Competence was.
Many years ago they told the govt that, as a church sponsored school, they were not subject to govt interference with curriculum, teacher qualifications and so on. They might have lost in a legal battle but the govt never wanted to take on the politics of a legal battle.
They do comply with all physical requirements, fire, sanitation, health, building codes etc.
The only nuns teaching in the school were in religion classes.