11.07.2017, Juha Lahtinen
China experiences – smiling university educators, peach trees, chicken soup and shining sun
Between May and June I had a wonderful possibility to deliver two times one-week teacher training program in China with my colleague, Mrs Tiina Koskiranta from Tampere University of Applied Science.
First week we had a group of 40 teachers from Railway Polytechnics from city of Guangzhow, Canton. The group was really innovative and we had a fruitful discussions about entrepreneurship, competence based curriculum, University and companies co-operation and changing paradigma of teachership. We tried to encourage the teachers to co-operate more with companies outside of the university and find all the stakeholders to build versatile learning environments. In Guangzhow weather was really hot and feelings were warm.
The other week we had our course in Changde, the beautiful city of peach trees and flowers in Hunan. The training took place in Hunan University of Arts and Science.
We started our week by having a one day training for all the teaching staff. It was one of the best experiences in my almost 30 years as a teacher trainer. There were about 1300 people in a huge conference hall and the stage was like one in biggest concert venues. Me and Tiina and our talented interpreter Mrs Li stood on that almost infinity stage and felt like rock stars.
We had lectures about Finnish education system, used some activating methods and discussed about the main values of Finnish system: Trust, responsibility, co-operation and equality.
Last four days we had a smaller group, between 40 to 70. We worked with them by using co-operative methods, small lectures, thinking hats by De Bono and so on. The atmosphere in those days was so warm and people were so nice that I really hope to repeat this kind of experience soon.