Norssi Day was celebrated on 12 October.
The history of the primary school of the Teacher Training School begins with the establishment of the primary school system in Finland in the 1860s. The Teacher Training School, more informally Norssi, started officially as a model school of the Jyväskylä Teacher Seminary in 1866. Its first principal was Uno Cygnaeus, “the father of the Finnish primary school”.
Over the decades, the original model school has evolved into the current University of Jyväskylä Teacher Training School, where teacher students can complete their supervised teaching practice. The school is also a place for a diverse range of research, experimental and development activities.
Norssi Day is celebrated in October to commemorate the birthday of the school’s founder Uno Cygnaeus. The honorary visit to his statue on this day is a tradition which the students of the Jyväskylä College of Education adopted from their predecessors at the Jyväskylä Teacher Seminary. Pupils from the Training School and other local primary schools joined the visit. In the 1960s the visit was rendered from the Student Union’s tradition into an annual duty of teacher students.
Nowadays primary school pupils ensure that the tradition continues as part of Norssi Day. They march in a festive procession to the statue, where they leave flowers in tribute. As for the pupils’ tradition, flowers are a fitting tribute: Cygnaeus’s importance for Finnish-speaking school education is characterised in the statue by a girl presenting a bouquet of flowers and a boy reading a book.
Photo: At the statue of Uno Cygnaeus on 12 October 1961. Lecturer of Education Veli Nurmi speaking. JYU/ Open Science Centre / Photo archive of Jyväskylä University Museum.
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