Yoon Young Lee


Yoon Young Lee, South Korea

started studies 2013

Internship place: Finnish Institute for Educational Research (FIER) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development  (OECD)

While I was reading articles about teacher education for my thesis, I discovered an interesting international survey on teachers called ‘TALIS’ - Teaching and Learning International Survey. I was fascinated by this study as it provides cross-country analysis based on the responses of more than 100 000 teachers in 34 countries. I applied for two internship programmes related to the TALIS study.

First, I worked as a trainee at the Finnish Institute for Educational Research (FIER) in 2014. The research institute has been in charge of the project management for TALIS in Finland. The duties at the institute included a variety of research assignments. I could learn how to write theoretical framework, transcribe interviews, collect and analyze data. It was great to encounter professional researchers in the field of education and I enjoyed listening to their advice about how to conduct research. Also, I have got an opportunity to participate in a conference and gave a presentation on my research at the end of my internship. 

In 2015, I was offered an internship position at the Directorate of Education and Skills at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. The international organisation, known for the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), has conducted the TALIS. Among many directorates at the OECD dealing with a wide range of topics from agriculture to tax and migration, the Directorate of Education and Skills looks at issues regarding teaching, learning, skills, and labour market. The directorate has conducted a variety of comparative research on different school systems.

During the internship, I worked on the Initial Teacher Preparation (ITP) study which is one of sub-projects of the TALIS. The project involves conducting background research, organising international meetings and workshops, visiting the countries for review of their ITP systems, and publishing a set of reports. For this study, I was required to develop a methodical and analytical approach for conducting a literature review and drafting chapters. Also, I took part in developing the conceptual framework for the study which deepened my understanding of the issues around ITP.

My internships at the FIER and OECD have been very fulfilling and enjoyable experience. I am very glad that I have got this wonderful opportunity to work at research institute and international organisation. I was happy to be able to contribute to the culture of the organisations and I also learned a lot from ongoing collaboration with my colleagues with diverse backgrounds. Collaboration with the best experts in the field made me excited all the time. Moreover, the experience at the FIER and OECD has been helpful to broaden and deepen my knowledge on teacher preparation systems across the countries. I feel very much grateful to all the support and advice given by my supervisors at the University of Jyväskylä, FIER and the OECD for my fruitful internships.