THE ERASMUS+ PROGRAMME FOR TEACHER EDUCATIONAL INNOVATION: VISITING FINLAND
The professional development of teachers entails the integration and adaptation of new pedagogical models and educational strategies for their use in the classroom. The ERASMUS+ programme favours these competences and enables participants to observe, research and look into teaching strategies in other social and cultural contexts, aspects which are analysed in this paper by means of a qualitative methodology. Eight Finnish Pre-School and Primary School teachers were interviewed during a stay under the ERASMUS programme. The observation and analysis of the experiences during the stay has enabled the description of results based on the pedagogical and educational dimensions of the teachers interviewed. A strong commitment to education in the classroom was identified, together with collaborative work amongst teachers in designing and developing the syllabus, choosing in most cases to adapt to the rhythm and interests of students. The participants consider educational innovation to be one of the fundamental pillars that determines the quality of the teaching-learning process. On the other hand, it was noted that there is no direct relationship with the families, aside from initial interviews to learn about students’ personal and family characteristics. The assessment system is qualitative and illustrative, aimed at informing families on the process carried out and helping students improve their learning in subsequent courses. Finnish teachers are acknowledged by society as prestigious professionals, as detected in the results obtained from the interview. Our main conclusion is that in order to improve the professional development of teachers, it is very important to know about and have these direct experiences, as they are very significant in ongoing teacher training. We are aware that each country has a different culture, and that the teacher-student ratio and the personal resources available in the Finnish model differ from the Spanish educational system. In any case, the ERASMUS+ programme makes it possible to complete teacher training by learning about other innovating educational practices in other school contexts, which are essential to all educational processes.