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Vocational and professionally-oriented pedagogy

Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences offer professionally-oriented programmes at higher education level. The emphasis of the studies is on providing skills and competences relevant for the changing needs of labour market. In order to provide up-to-date education for future professionals, the pedagogical measures need to be in line with the dynamic nature of the operational environment. Accordingly, the implementation of high-quality education is based on modern concept of pedagogy, which assumes that both teachers and learners have versatile roles as developers and working life collaborators.

Teacher Education College at JAMK University of Applied Sciences has educated vocational and higher education teachers for over 50 years. In addition to Teacher Education College’s continuous work in developing pedagogical practices, all the different Schools at JAMK have established field-specific methods for enhancing learning in the subject area. These specific features have been created and successfully implemented in the fields of Business, Nursing and Engineering.

Teachers’ competence areas and roles

In Finland vocational and higher education teachers are equipped with skills to facilitate the learning of students with diverse backgrounds, and are able to construct personal and flexible learning paths. They must also be able to develop and manage diverse learning environments. This includes the ability to develop teaching and learning to meet the needs of business and industry, as well as the ability to utilise virtual learning environments and other forms of technology in the learning processes. In addition to being facilitators of learning, vocational and higher education teachers are the link between the labour market and educational institution, developers of their own work and working community, and managers of various networks relevant to their position.

Teacher education targeted for vocational and higher education teachers provided by JAMK builds teachers’ capacity to act not only as facilitators of learning, but also as school developers and collaborators with employers. The teacher education programmes focus on the competences and skills needed in the teaching and career guidance of students with diverse backgrounds. In addition, the programmes provide vocational teachers with the competence needed to work effectively in networks, collaborate with employers and develop their educational organisations.

Pedagogy for competitiveness and employability

Employability is among the crucial indicators measuring the quality of higher and vocational education. Intensive cooperation with the world of work is a key success factor in promotion of students’ employability. The cooperation covers anticipatory curricula development and implementation, as well as involvement of students in R&D activities. Furthermore, practical training periods and final theses commissioned by employers play a pivotal role in enhancing employability.

Finnish universities of applied sciences have a statutory task for regional and local economic development. This responsibility sets the framework for JAMK’s training and R&D activities, which are in line with the local needs.