Highly qualified teachers and pedagogical autonomy
In Finnish culture, teaching is one of the most important professions of society, and substantial resources are invested in teacher education.
Teachers are trusted to do their best as true professionals of education. They are entrusted with considerable pedagogical independence in the classroom, and schools have likewise enjoyed significant autonomy in organizing their work within the national curriculum.
All Finnish teachers complete a masterís degree, either in education or in a teaching subject. They are considered pedagogical experts.
Additionally, the profession of classroom teacher is greatly valued and popular among post-secondary students. Only 10% of the applicants for teacher-education programs are admitted.
Finnish teachers set high standards for studentsí literacy skills and interests.
Regarded as educational experts, Finnish teachers are relied on when it comes to student assessment, which usually draws on studentsí class work, projects, teacher-made exams, and portfolios. In Finland, teacher-based assessment is all the more important because at Finnish comprehensive schools students are not assessed by national tests or examinations during the school years or upon completing school.
Teachers are vested with considerable decision-making authority as concerns school policy and management. They have almost exclusive responsibility for the choice of textbooks and have more say than their counterparts in the OECD countries in determining course content, establishing student assessment policies, deciding which courses the school should offer, and allocating budgets within the school.