Finnish Teachers Views on their Pupils´ Writing Challenges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Finland is a country that supports public-only education that aims to provide the same basic education for all its residents. In the National Core Curriculum, strong reading and writing skills are considered a foundation for further learning and essential for civil society and democracy. The recent national evaluations done in Finland show the warning trend of weakening writing skills among school-age children, adding that when the individual differences in performance tend to grow bigger, it may promote “inequalization.” This article discusses how Finnish L1 teachers working at all levels of basic and secondary education view their pupils’ challenges in writing. The data consists of survey responses from a relatively large group of Finnish L1 teachers (N = 376). As part of the survey conducted in 2019, the teachers were asked to define what challenges the present day has brought to their classrooms in terms of writing learning. The survey data shows that the teachers mention challenges in language competencies, working skills, social participation, and developing voice and meaning in writing. These findings seem to reflect an emphasis on individual cognitive skills rather than seeing writing as social interaction and integration. The teachers commonly blame a lack of reading and increased use of social media for causing their pupils’ writing challenges, which also reflects the importance of sociocultural identification in all communication. This topic would need more detailed research in terms of quantitative analysis, in-depth case studies, and interventions to develop accurate writing pedagogy. Still, it is possible to note that the pedagogical thinking of writing may not yet be able to capture the ever-increasing importance of participation in textual communities, be it of a classroom group or societal scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-49
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Finnish Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Finland
  • teachers
  • basic education
  • writing skills
  • writing pedagogy

Field of science

  • Teacher Education


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