Preschool and Primary School Children as Learners in 2030: Views of Finnish Student Teachers
Teachers are key to the future. Because of enormous future changes, teachers need to re-evaluate their thinking. This study focuses on what student teachers think of the future in preschool and primary school of the year 2030. The questionnaire, conducted in October 2007, reached 76 student teachers from the University of Helsinki in Finland. Of these students, 52 were preschool and 24 primary school student teachers. The research questions were: 1) How important is it that children in preschool and primary school in the year 2030 can use language and communication and can work in groups and in the environment? (2) How can preschool and primary school teachers support language learning and communication in the year 2030? (3) How will children in preschool and primary school in the year 2030 take responsibility for their own (child-centred) learning? The results confirm that preschool and primary school student teachers think very traditionally. Many felt that it would be less important for children in 2030 to speak many languages, and student teachers did not consider the use of computers.
Over the last decades the nature and form of what children can choose to read has changed radically, partly as a consequence of rapid technological advances and the increasing dominance of the image. The research questions were: 1) How do children learn to read and write by computer? 2) How can one support children’s learning during the transition from pre-school to primary school? and 3) How can we support learning during the transition from pre-school to primary school in the future? This work is based on a questionnaire that was sent to kindergarten and primary school teachers in the Helsinki area. Only 27 teachers in the pre-school or primary school answered the questionnaire. Following this, the questionnaire was also sent to kindergarten and primary school student teachers. The results show that that it is easy for children to acquaint themselves with the computer keyboard and that children actually enjoy playing by writing on computer. The respondents said that children must, at first, train to write by hand, then by computer.