Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius (FINLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 1219-1225
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
One of the most significant current discussions in the field of education is the rapidly changing world around us –the critical question facing educators is: what are we going to do to prepare our students to face the future skilled enough to be ready for its needs?

So far, however, there has been little discussion about teacher education and its role in this changing process. The world is flatter than ever –all the information, people and places are behind one button. In his article, Prensky (2001) states, that today´s student represent the first generation to grow up with new technology. There will always be a gap between teachers and students when talking about information technology skills in learning and teaching. The skills should be seen as resource rather than something that can only be used outside the school. Why are schools so slow to adapt?

We are slowly moving from constructivist learning theory towards to sociocultural theory of learning where learning is according to Kumpulainen, Krokfors, Lipponen, Tissari,Hilppö and Rajala (2009) viewed as a holistic and dynamic process, in which the individual grows into the culture of the community, its values, practices, and artifacts. Schools should not to be seen separate from surrounding communities nor its ways to work and operate.

The net generation (Tapscott, 2008) is not willing to study and learn the ways earlier generations did. When turning learning situations and environments from analogical to digital teachers will have to find new ways to plan and design learning as well as learning environments.

The pressure has been pointed to Teacher Education. The responsibility for the change lies also on teacher educators’ shoulders. In Kokkola University Adult Teacher Education program the curriculum has been re-designed to meet the 21st century challenges: sociocultural learning theory, net generation children, 21st century skills, learning in authentic contexts, interdisciplinary curriculum and phenomenon based approach to curriculum. To meet these challenges we have to find new ways to change beliefs and accomplish deep cracks to make the change happen, not only during the studies but also after graduation in schools.

This article will focus on Primary School Teacher education program and its developing process from curriculum to teaching and practicums during years 2012-2014. The main questions addressed in this paper are:

a) What is going to change, when moving learning to 21st century?
b) What kind of skills do primary school teachers need in the future (today)?
c) How are pre-service teachers prepared to face the future (current) in
• curriculum
• teaching
• practicums
d) Phenomenon based learning in context –from theory to practice –How will it happen?

Kumpulainen, K., Krokfors,L., Lipponen,L., Tissari, V., Hilppö, J. and Rajala, A. (2009) Learning Bridges – Toward Participatory Learning Environments. University of Helsinki.
Tapscott, D. 2008. Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World. McGraw-Hill. NewYork.
Prensky, M. 2001. Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon. MCB University Press, Vol. 9 No. 5.
Teacher Education, 21st Century Skils, Phenomenon Based learning, Learning in Contexts, interdisciplinary curriculum design.