Competent teachers together

Changes in both higher and professional education and in society require a wide range of competence and a cooperative working culture from teachers. According to recent research (Mikkonen et al. 2018, Töytäri 2017), teachers in the field of health sciences and social services need good pedagogical, research, international, networking and leadership skills in addition to mastering the subject area of teaching. This means they ought to be able to work with ease within digital learning environments, and that they need competence in professional cooperation, evidence based practice and self-directed leadership. Teaching in the field of health sciences and social services has not been studied with a multidisciplinary approach from the perspectives of both health sciences and social services. Also, continuous education offered for those working within the field is not systematic. In this project, both degree programmes and continuous education offered within the field are renewed and reformed through an interdisciplinary approach, working together with those educating health science teachers and students, and teachers within the fields of social services.


In this project we aim to renew and reform teacher education in the field of health sciences and social service on a national level in Finland and to develop continuous education within the field. National competence requirements will ensure the quality, comparability, consistency and cooperation for health sciences and social service teacher education. The competence will be evaluated using national and international experts within collaborative networks. The project connects intimately with the strategies of national universities and is immediately applicable for wide use within university education. The national learning requirements will be included in the university curricula and continuous education programmes from year 2019 onwards. The model for continuous education will form a competence-based framework for continuous education programmes within the fields of health sciences and social services. The study unit in digitalization will become a generally used study unit used by universities, which will increase and unify both national teacher cooperation and the range of offered subjects in the university degree programmes and in continuous education. The digital competence network offers a framework for distributing expertise and competence for teacher students, teachers and educators of teachers also after the project. The digital study materials and teaching technology will be utilized in both degree programme education and continuous education as well as in education export.

Kristina Mikkonen and Maria Kääriäinen

TerOpe-project coordinator and TerOpe-project leader

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Mikkonen, K., Ojala, T., Sjögren, T., Piirainen, A., Koskinen, C., Koskinen, M., Koivula, M., Sormunen, M., Saaranen, T., Salminen, L., Koskimäki, M., Ruotsalainen, H., Lähteenmäki, M.L., Wallin, O., Mäki-Hakola, H., Kääriäinen, M., 2018. Competence areas of health science teachers – a systematic review of quantitative studies. Nurse Education Today. Manuscript.

Töytäri, A., Piirainen, A., Tynjälä, P., Vanhanen-Nuutinen, L., Mäki, K., Ilves, V., 2016. Higher education teachers’ descriptions of their own learning: a large-scale study of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences, Higher Education Research & Development 35 (6), 1284-1297.