Malta calling!

Learning Scoop experts Johanna Järvinen-Taubert and Kaisa Tuomarla are heading to Malta to held workshops for Maltese educators there. Regarding to that they were asked to provide some background information for Maltese media. Here are some of their answers:

1. What is the secret of the success in Finnish education?

It is a combination of many factors. We would emphasize the following: effective education system, that is based on equality, not screening and assorting of students, highly qualified teachers and high teacher autonomy, strong support systems for all students, respecting children’s natural development and needs, and modern, innovative, science-based pedagogy.

Also the whole Nordic welfare society supports education system as well.

2. How was Learning Scoop established?

The founders of Learning Scoop had been working in the field of Finnish in-service teacher training for years. We all took part in Learning Bridge project (2012-2014), which aimed to develop education  export in Tampere region in Finland. We realized that we had very similar ideals and aspirations and wanted to work for quality education around the World. That’s why we decided to establish Learning Scoop and work for those goals together. The story behind Learning Scoop and our logo can be read here.

3. During the past years you had the opportunity to travel in different countries to share the good practices of Finnish education. Can you elaborate?

We are honored that we have been invited to so many different countries (for instance Malta, USA, Bolivia, Vietnam, India etc.) to train local teachers and education experts. There is a global demand for quality education in all countries. Finland has developed a unique system that is not based on competition, stress, pressure, continuous prepping and testing, but rather on joy of learning, curiosity, the natural development of children, collaboration etc. And still, Finland is getting excellent results in international comparisons. Teachers in many countries are interested how this is possible, and we are happy to share our experiences and ideas.

Nevertheless, we think that also we learn a lot while visiting different countries and constantly get new ideas to develop Finnish education further.

4. What initiatives and innovations are being introduced at the moment in Finland?

There is so much going on in Finnish education all the time! The curriculum for pre-primary education, basic education and general upper secondary education (high school) were just renewed. The curricula for basic education and general upper secondary education introduced interdisciplinary studies in order to study real-life phenomena from various different perspectives (so-called phenomena-based studies). (But we didn’t get rid of the school subjects, either).

In high school there is more team-based learning being introduced and innovative solutions for that. Electric/digital matriculation exams are put to use in Finnish high schools. Finland is also emphasizing the pedagogically wise use of digital materials and devices as part of education (so-called “digi-leap”). There is also a strong initiative to integrate physical movement in studying various different school subjects (i.e. maths, foreign languages). Vocational education is also being reformed to increase the studying in actual workplaces and to meet the needs of working life better etc. etc. Continuous development and innovation is “the normal state” for Finnish education field.

5. During the year you also organize study tours in Tampere for educators. How are these study tours organized and what do they involve or consist of?

Study tours are always organized based on what our visitors are mostly interested in. We have study tours concentrating on Basic education, Early childhood education, High schools, Principals’ work and
pedagogical leadership, EdTech and ICT, Innovation and entrepreneurship education etc. We also deliver tailor-made study tours on various different themes according to the wishes of our customers.

All the study tours include expert lectures / workshops, visits to Finnish schools and educational institutions, chance to experience everyday Finnish school life, possibilities to talk to teachers, students, principals etc. Our visitors have been extremely satisfied and we have received excellent feedback about study tours, which we are very happy about.