Keynote Speakers
Title: Facts and myths about teacher education and teachers’ professional learning in Finland
Date: March 8, 2018 (Thursday)
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Venue: Rayson Huang Theatre, The University of Hong Kong
Keynote Speaker: Professor Pasi SAHLBERG
Gonski Institute for Education
School of Education
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Since the early 2000s researchers, policymakers and practitioners have tried to identify the key factors of successful education systems. International large-scale student assessments, as a consequence, more frequent benchmarking of education systems around the world has led to new insights about the role of teacher education and teachers’ professional learning. Although we know much more about these issues than we did a decade ago, much work lies still ahead. In this presentation I outline the fundamentals of teacher education in Finland that includes drawing clear line between evidence-based facts and commonly held myths. I provide examples of recruitment, recent developments, and cultures of teaching in Finnish schools and conclude by offering valid lessons for others to take away from the Finnish system. In the end, I discuss possible rationales for more advanced research-based, academic preparation of teachers.

About the Speaker

Pasi Sahlberg is a professor of education policy at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. He has worked as schoolteacher, teacher educator, researcher, and policy-maker in Finland and studied education systems and reforms around the world. He has published widely about teacher education and professional learning, educational change and the future of education. His book “Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland” won the 2013 Grawemeyer Award, and he is also a recipient of 2012 Education Award in Finland, 2014 Robert Owen Award in Scotland, 2016 Lego Prize, and Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Resident Fellowship in 2017. He is a former director general at the Finland’s Ministry of Education and a visiting professor of practice at Harvard Graduate School of Education. He chairs the Open Society Foundations’ Global Education Advisory Board and is a member of the Governing Board of the University of Oulu. His recent books are ”Hard Questions on Educational Change” (2017), “Empowered Educators in Finland” (2017) and “FinnishED Leadership: Four Big, Inexpensive Ideas to Transform Education” (2018). Twitter: @pasi_sahlberg.