In recent decades, many educational reforms have been implemented that aim to effect a change in teachers’ and pupils’ roles by promoting meaningful learning. Yet, little is known about how teachers perceive these roles as a part of their professional belief system. In this
study, 68 Finnish comprehensive school teachers were interviewed. The data were content analysed. The results showed that teachers recognised the importance of facilitating pupils’ active role in learning, but still mostly considered pupils as passive in school practices. Moreover, teachers
perceived pupils as active educational participants most often outside the classroom, in informal school settings. Correspondingly, teachers described themselves primarily as knowledge transmitters in pupils’ learning. In their professional community, teachers perceived themselves mostly
as reproducers of knowledge instead of facilitators of learning. There was also variation between the teachers as well as within a single teacher’s beliefs.
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Finnish comprehensive school;
teachers’ and pupils’ role;
teachers’ professional beliefs
Document Type: Research Article
Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, University of Eastern Finland, Savonlinna, Finland
Department of Teacher Education, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
April 3, 2014