The Finnish Network for Teacher Induction 'Osaava Verme'

Osaava Verme is a collaborative network between the Finnish teacher education institutions, including the vocational teacher education institutions and teacher education departments of universities. The main goal is to develop and disseminate the peer-group mentoring model (PGM) to support new teachers.

Peer-group mentoring (PGM), known in Finland by the acronym Verme, is an activity whereby teachers share and reflect on their experiences, discuss problems and challenges they meet in their work, listen to and encourage one another, learn from one another and learn together.

While traditional mentoring consists of one-to-one discussions, peer-group mentoring is implemented in groups consisting of both novice teachers and their more experienced counterparts. The group usually meets once a month after school hours, and the group consists of 4 to 10 teachers and their mentor.

The method has been piloted by the funding of Finnish Work Environmental Fund in 2008-10 and is being continuosly developed by The Finnish Network for Teacher Induction 'Osaava Verme'.

Peer-Group Mentoring adopted nationwide

All units of teacher training in Finland are involved with developing and disseminating the PGM model in collaboration with local education authorities. Mentors are trained regionally in collaboration with universities’ teacher education departments, continuing professional development centers and vocational teacher training institutions. By the end of 2012, about 500 teachers have initiated mentor training.

The aims of Osaava Verme

  • To promote professional development of new teachers through mentoring and peer support.
  • To reinforce the professional competence of new teachers so that their teacher education will become a meaningful continuum of life-long learning
  • To promote networking of...
    • young and experienced teachers
    • universities and vocational teacher education institutes
    • municipalities, schools, teachers, school assistants and teacher educators
    • people involved in national and international research and development work of mentoring in teachers' induction