Changes in Teacher Profession in Finland during the War Years 1939-1945

  •  Satu Uusiautti    
  •  Merja Paksuniemi    
  •  Kaarina Maatta    


What happened in the Finnish society affected Finnish teacher training significantly. Teacher training was seen as the means and channel of influencing the whole nation. This study makes an interesting example of how macro level processes and procedures influence on a singular profession and how it was performed in practice. Simultaneously, it functions as an example of a national importance of professions. This study focused on teacher training during the war years in Finland and the change that took place in teacher training and consequently in teacher profession. This was a historical research aiming at drawing as a picture of the contemporary reality in the light of various data: archival sources and former student teachers’ (N=9) interviews and memoirs who were student teachers of the teacher training college of Tornio during the Second World War. As results, a practical description of the change is described and discussed. What makes teachers’ profession interesting, is that teachers were seen the professional educators of the whole nation, the future workforce, and by setting the example, they educated families, too. How the national purposes influenced teacher training and the contents of teachers’ professionalism are discussed.

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