A kick-off seminar in Istanbul on June 1st 2016 was a part of a seminar Exporting Finnish Education by supporting a Finnish family in sailing around the world in six years. The organisers Finpro, EEF (Education Export Finland) and Finnish embassy in Ankara did a great job bringing Turkish and Finnish parties together in this education market. The seminar took place at the Bahcesehir University, where Turkish and Finnish experts and the Meretniemi family were present. Meretniemi’s five-person-family is the one who will be sailing around the world the next six years and at the same time exporting Finnish education. KOULU Group, together with other Finnish organisations, also presented with products and services based on Finnish education expertise.
One part of the seminar along with expert presentations was a panel discussion. Mr. Assoc Prof Dr Selçuk Özdemir (CEIT at Gazi University, Bilisim Garaj Akademisi) led the panel discussion with the intention to find out the secrets behind the Finnish educational success. After the Finnish panellists Maarit Rossi (Founder & Chair, Paths to Math, Top 10 Finalist at the Global Teacher Prize) and Mr. Topi Litmanen (PhD, Chief Educational Scientist, Claned Group) had done their best to describe the background of Finnish school system, Dr. Özdemir pointed out that the panellists aren’t obviously going to reveal any of the secrets!
Ms. Carita Lähdesmäki – the director of product development – represented KOULU Group as one of the Finnish companies that had grabbed the opportunity to connect with Turkish partners. “I would actually say that we possess the very secrets that were not revealed at the panel discussion, and we are even willing to share all of them with our future partners in Turkey”, said Ms. Lähdesmäki. According to her saying, KOULU Group offers a broad set of services, School Development Framework with a variety of Professional Development Programmes. KOULU School of Educational Excellence is currently expanding the network to operate private schools with local partners, International Teacher Training Academy is also incoming.
During the event, Ms. Lähdesmäki learned that the Turks study primarily for a diploma, whereas Finns more likely study to learn and not so much for a diploma. The teacher’s role seemed to differ from Finnish teachers’ role as well, which teachers in Turkey are expected to prepare everything ready for the students and students sometimes lack energy and activities during the lessons.
Certainly there is a lot that can be done to support the teachers’ professional growth as well as the learning incomes. Even though the demand is huge in Turkey and in other countries, we do our best to deliver the secrets of education with the help of our Finnish experts to as many schools, teachers and administrators as we possibly can.
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