Over 20 Indian education experts joined KOULU last week for a five-day Innovation Camp on Finnish education expertise. The Innovation Camp was organised with The Learners Confluence (TLC) in order to discover and complete the Finland’s education excellence mission – education for life!
The group was fantastically active and asked loads of questions. The participants were interested in, for example, lesson planning and curriculum change. In visiting a nursery, the group directed their attention to the fact that Finnish children do not learn to read and write in the kindergarten. Even though children start to learn the alphabet in kindergarten, the explicit learning of reading and writing starts only in the first grade of primary school.
The participants were taken by how self-driven Finnish students are from an early age mainly because they are given responsibility. A lot of trust, and thus, freedom is given to students which differs from the Indian context. Trust between the teacher and the student, and further, between the principal and teachers was featured in many discussions.
In addition to the most recurrent topics during the camp – trust, for example, the participants raised some new ones into the discussion; the role of the teacher as a learning facilitator, the role of Finnish language in teaching and the integration of immigrant students, just to name a few.
Teachers’ role in teaching and learning was framed several times during the visit and was named as one of the key findings of the Innovation Camp. In addition to teachers, another key takeaway for the group was that the Finnish education system wants to provide the student with skills and education for life; in the centre are both academic and practical skills that carry the student for a lifetime.
The question of why student use only Finnish in learning was especially interesting. The reasons are, of course, cultural and historical but the question finely underlines the reasons we organise these camps: to challenge views and practices of both parties and, further, to create and negotiate new ones in the process.
We are so privileged to have TLC as our guest and are hoping to see you again soon!