What educational objectives are considered important by preschool teachers in Helsinki and Tallinn?
Hytönen, Leena Krokfors, Leida Talts, Maie Vikat
Tallinn Pedagogical University,
University of Helsinki
Abstract. The present article
deals with the educational objectives of Helsinki and
Tallinn preschool teachers. The national
regulations and objectives of preparation for school of the capital cities of
both countries – Estonia and Finland – are compared. The study is based on a
questionnaire carried out among preschool teachers of Helsinki in 2001–2 and
Tallinn in 2002–3. The term preschool
training in the present context means the education given a year before the
beginning of compulsory school education.
authors of the present article view school readiness as a consistent process,
taking place in the preschool period, which continues uninterruptedly in the
context of school. The theoretical basis of the study relies on the principles
of child-centred pedagogy. The comparative analysis is based on sixteen characteristics emphasising educational
objectives, which were selected as a result of factor analysis. The common
features of the preschool teachers of the two countries are high professional
competence and adherence to the principles of child-centred pedagogy. As
compared to Finnish teachers, Estonian teachers attach more importance to
achieving concrete results when setting their objectives. As compared to
Estonian teachers, Finnish teachers give stronger emphasis to developing a positive
self-image in children and promoting their abilities necessary for learning.