Merge of Teacher Training Seminar to the University. Estonian case

Year: 2001

Author: Kukemelk, Hasso

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract:
Many countries have been merged teacher training seminars to the universities to improve their academic level and real teaching in school system. There has been tradition to train primary school teachers in the seminars in Estonia. Starting from the lower secondary school (grades (6) 7-9) teachers are trained in the universities. From 2001 seminars are merged to the universities and all kind of teacher training belongs to the universities.

Strengths of the old system:
• Students (90%) started to work as teachers after graduating;
• Graduates of the seminar are keeping the profession;
• They are well trained for children up-bringing.

Weaknesses:
• System is closed and conservative;
• Weak preparation in subject area;
• Low prestige of the seminar graduates in the society;
• Poor possibilities to make professional career.

The merge is going to keep the strengths and to overcome the weaknesses. The result should be as next opportunities for the future students and teachers:
• Study system is more opened and as university profession more prestigious and gives much more possibilities for the students;
• Academic level of subject training will be improved;
• Teacher's position in the society will be improved;
• Primary school teacher will have direct possibilities to continue on to doctoral level and make professional career;
• Much more modern technology and teaching methods can be introduced.

At the same time the merge is related with certain threats:
• Primary school teacher training will be too academic and teachers later can't "find" the child;
• Better educated teachers are not keeping so well their profession;
• In a large university special teacher training spirit will be lost.

In conclusion the author is stating that inside the university primary school teachers will be better trained for the schoolwork if the mentioned threats are taken into account.

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