Trust and technology were the two key issues that surfaced throughout the Innovation Camp for Thai education professionals organised May 8-12. Together with Ten Forward Co. Ltd., we organised a one-week programme to familiarise the participants with the success factors leading to top quality in Finnish education. Not only were they able to see these factors in play in real-life settings, they were guided through finding the solutions on how to apply the elements into the Thai context.
To kick off the programme, our participants attended a workshop on Finnish education, its history and future aspirations. The workshop was held by Ms. Emmi Ollila, Innovation Manager of KOULU Group. The workshop continued with Professor Arto Kallioniemi, Vice Head of Teacher Education Department, University of Helsinki, including a trip to the teacher training faculty at the University of Helsinki. For the Thai educators, it was interesting to have a look at how future teachers of Finland are trained. Professor Kallioniemi and his colleagues carefully explained how different subject teacher trainees are guided towards their future profession.
In the next three days, the group visited schools in Helsinki Metropolitan area, including kindergarten, primary, lower and upper secondary school and vocational school. The purpose behind the visits was to gain a deeper level of understanding of our system and, further, to be able to make observations first hand. The participants were also provided with the opportunity to directly discuss with school managers, principals, teachers and school staff. Furthermore, actual school visits enable our customers with the opportunity to observe classes and talk to students – who can, together with their teachers, reveal parts of Finnish education’s success. During these moments, the professionals from Thailand realised the respect and trust between students, teachers and staff. They also observed how technology and digital devices are integrated at schools.
In addition to tours at school, experts from KOULU Group – Ms. Ollila, for example – also assisted the group in understanding the context of Finnish education and its best education practices. While the customers helped us to understand more deeply the education context in Thailand, we supported them with ideas and solutions that combine the best of Finnish education and Thai context. The resulting combination will generate a more sustainable development of education in Thailand. Even though the joyful learning programme only lasted for one week, we sincerely believe that our Thai educational professionals have achieved new knowledge and multiple new approaches that can be applied and taken into use in their own institutions.