21. Abo Akademi University, The Faculty of Education (ABO)
Abo Akademi University is the only completely Swedish-medium university in bilingual Finland. The university offers both undergraduate studies and extensive research opportunities to some 7,500 students on three campuses. The university has an acknowledged national position at the forefront of research in such areas as biosciences, computer science and process chemistry. The Faculty of Education, located in Vaasa on the west coast since 1974, is responsible for all Swedish teacher education in Finland. The Faculty educates Bachelors, Masters and Doctors of Education. The Bologna process has not brought drastic changes to Finnish teacher education as it has been fully integrated in the university degree system since 1979. ABO seeks to improve the quality of teacher education and teacher professionalism throughout the teaching career. Current research includes learning and education from a late-modernity perspective with the aim of developing knowledge about these processes e.g. in relation to the increasing multiculturalism in society and digital culture.
Since 1996, the Faculty of Education has hosted a Resource Centre for Chemistry Didactics, which primarily is focused on developing teaching materials and providing in-service education for chemistry teachers. At the moment, we are also increasing our experience in supporting recently qualified teachers through mentoring, a competence that can be applied to different subject-fields of teaching. Under the lead of Professor Sven-Erik Hansén, ABO will form a group within the network with experiences and expertise in both science, general and intercultural education. We see the possibilities for synergy from the joint forces of our respective fields of expertise, as this will provide a more comprehensive approach towards the different variables that need to be taken into account for the successful learning of more students. Task allocation We will cooperate with partners in WP6 to further disseminate and upscale results from research constituting experiences of good teaching practices to science teachers. This will be possible through the work of the Resource Centre, through participation in workshops and conferences and by contributing with written material within the work of the WP. Staff members who will be undertaking the work:
Kaj Sjöholm, PhD, is professor of Foreign Language Education at the Faculty of Education at Åbo Akademi University. Sjöholm's research interests centre on foreign language acquisition and teaching in multilingual and multicultural settings and CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning). He is also involved in research in teachers' professional development, and is, together with professor Sven-Erik Hansén, the leader of the project "Teacher professionalism and the Bologna process".
Berit Kurtén-Finnäs, MSc, PhD, teacher educator and leader of the Resource Centre, defended her doctoral thesis in 2008 on the use of open investigations and V-heuristics in grade 7; design research, implementation and classroom research.
Liselott Forsman, EdLic, PhD, teacher educator, is an action researcher working with the competence of teachers to support the learning of all students in the multicultural classroom, incl. principles for cooperation between teachers and with parents. She has an interest in making teacher education itself more investigative, e.g. through the use of action research principles, to get away from a transmission-model of learning.
Indicative Allocation of Person-Months: ABO name role PM (total 9) Kaj Sjöholm Supervisory and dissemination As required Berit Kurtén-Finnäs Production of WP6g, dissemination 5.5 Liselott Forsman Production of WP6g, dissemination 3.5