Our last but not least Innovation Camp of 2016 was organised in late November from 22nd – 25th with delegations from Turkey. In cooperation with Senin Gelecegin, we invited approximately 20 Turkish participants to Helsinki; who are teachers, school managers, school owners, directors, principals, etc with a high interest in Finnish education and its success lessons. The programme started in a cold winter day with the warmest welcome from Ms. Satu Järvinen – Partner & Director, Education Services, and Ms. Emmi Ollila – Innovation Manager from KOULU Group.
Every day of the programme consisted of either a school visit or a workshop with invited experts and a reflection delivered by Ms. Emmi. Turkish delegations learned more about Finland’s general education system, its history and future aspirations for the education on the first day. On the next two days, our participants fulfilled their schedule with plenty of visits to a range of school levels in both Helsinki and Espoo: daycare, primary school, secondary schools and university. Our participants especially appreciated the workshop about Teacher Training and a tour around Teacher Education campus at University of Helsinki with Professor Arto Kallioniemi – Professor of Education and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, Department of Teacher Education at the University of Helsinki. Moreover, educators also enjoyed school lunches with students from those school levels, experiencing different angles on a typical school day. Although the language barrier is great – more than half of Turkish educators do not speak English, the atmosphere of the programme was very cheerful and joyful with the help of translations from Finnish to English, and from English to Turkish, all thanks to dedicated people such as Ms. Emmi and Ms. Banu from Senin Gelecegin.
Despite the differences in culture, languages, and weather; we sincerely hope our Turkish participants have had pleasant experiences during the four-day Innovation Camp in Finland and will be able to bring insights of Finnish education success back to Turkey and use them as a tool to enhance their own oganisations.