Teaching is an elite profession in Finland, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
At the University of Helsinki, a mere 6.7% of those who applied to be primary school teachers were admitted this year to the education school.
That’s a lower acceptance rate than the 10% of applicants admitted to the University of Helsinki’s schools of law and medicine.
By comparison, the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee accepted 96% of undergraduate students who applied for the 2011 year, and 88% of post-baccalaureate applicants.
Marquette’s College of Education, which accepts only students who rank in the top third of their high school class, takes 63% of applicants.
Teachers in Finland make less in gross salary and pay more in taxes than the average American teacher. But it’s considered a prestigious profession that requires rigorous training.
Secondary teachers need a master’s degree in their subject. Elementary teachers must earn a master’s in a general education field.
Once in the profession, teachers have a lot of autonomy over their classroom. A national curriculum set by the local government – with input from the national teachers union – explains what should be learned but not how to teach it.
. . . “In Finland it’s very common for us to write our own textbooks or choose the methods and curriculum or textbooks we want to buy,” said Sepoo Nyyssönen, a philosophy teacher at Sibelius High School, an arts-based school in Helsinki.
All students are in the same classes from till age 16, when they decide between a college-prep school or three years of vocational training.
Via PDQ Blog.