Global Educational Community and The Authentic Learning Institute held an international conference in Beijing on the 8th-9th June.
Innokas-Network had an important role by taking Finnish teachers to work and co-operate with their Chinese colleagues during the conference week. Before that teacher-teams had collaborated by planning and implementing projects on learning environments in their own countries. A few days before the conference teacher-teams met in Beijing and modified their projects. Moreover, Finnish teachers educated and supported their Chinese colleagues on the innovation process. The aim was to model Finnish teaching practices to Chinese teachers in authentic learning sessions. To do so, there where Chinese students from different areas from China. Finally, teacher-teams gave demo-lessons to conference participants. The demos were reflected by the audience teachers and all the participants from the Beijing Normal University and Beijing Capital University and elsewhere.
Panel discussions were important parts of the conference. Minna took part in the discussion about the equality in Finnish schools and Finland. Johanna’s panel discussion was about the authentic learning. Both discussions were held in Chinese, so Finnish panelistics had an interpreter to keep them aware of the main point of the discussion.
Minna had a keynote speech about the Finnish school system and new curriculum, Innokas network and teaching practices. The main points of her speech were the phenomena and project based learning, collaboration between students and teachers and students based learning.
Moreover, the Finnish participants took part in the radio interview about the equality in Finland, transversals skills, multidisciplinary learning units and Finnish school’s success in PISA assessment. They also discuss the learning outcome and the main point of the new curriculum and it’s affects in nowadays’ Finnish schools.
-GEC team 2017: Minna K., Minna K., Johanna, Raini and Jaana-
Our collaboration with Hong Kong started in August 2016. 1K-class from Jalavapuisto School in Espoo was happy to get a friend school called Holm Glad No.2 (The Mission Covenant Church Holm Glad No. 2 Primary School). Holm Glad No.2 has started an academy project called ‘Learning by Doing’. This project aims to change culture at the whole school level for example, by giving teachers s supportive school environment that puts people instead of grades first.
We have been emailing, sending pictures and videos telling about our class and school day whereas they’ve been telling about their school and taking us to ‘the trip’ around the town introducing their neighbourhood. And we also started a match ‘Checkers’ going on on WhatsApp between Hong Kong and Espoo.
We teachers have been chatting on Skype two times now. Listening to each others plans and hopes and of coarse getting to know each other better.We are going to go on our collaboration after the summer.
This far this has been rewarding yet challenging. We’ve been happy to learn about their culture which differs from ours quite a lot. Several emails and Skype chats have been a great way not only to get to know the teachers better but also their always optimistic way of thinking.
Linda Mattila from Koulumestari School in Espoo has also been working with Holm Glad No.2 with me. Planning and sharing ideas together has been a great help when thinking about this in all.
Hanna Mäkynen, Jalavapuisto school, Espoo
We had a great school day in March when we got two Fulbright visitors from USA. We don’t have visitors often so the children (and adults too..) were really excited and happy to meet them. We had planned water-themed workshops for the preschoolers and children in the first and second class. Also the children with special needs took part in the workshops. Overall we had six teachers and 50 students doing this project. The visitors were science teachers and they told me beforehand some very good tips for planning the day.
For many children it was a unique experience to meet people from another country because not so many of them have ever traveled outside of Finland. Nat and Stephen took part in the workshops doing the same things as the children. We found that nonverbal gestures are really international. The kids don’t speak English at all except some phrases. Especially I liked that Stephen and Nat went out with children and played with them. For example one of the preschoolers asked me what is kivi paperi sakset in English and when Stephen knew he meant rock paper scissors he was so happy to play with Stephen. The kids found out that the visitors also knew hide and seek.
We have been following spring coming to our village with SYK. It has been a really strange spring as you know. This year it has been snowing in May even in Helsinki. And suddenly we noticed that after few warm days we could find spring flowers near the school! My students wanted to send cards to those in SYK because the next autumn they will have a new teacher and I will continue cooperation with the new class. They also wanted to show what they have been learning in English lessons during the school year. So they filmed videos with iPads introducing themselves.
-Heli, Hankasalmi Asema School
On the 18th and 19th of May we had a work shop in Robocup event in the university of Oulu. In that work shop the participants had a possibility to test 3D pen. The idea was to plan a school yard of their dreams and some playing equipments and constructions to the yard. The work shop was very popular and we got so many great creations made mostly by kids but also by the adults who took part to the event. Here are some photos of the creations that were made.
Petri, Jaana and Minna
My and Junfang’s GEC project is about designing the school yard of students’ dreams. We have started our co-operation via WeChat, wrote the project plan and started the project with our students in May. The co-operation has been successful and WeChat very convenient way to keep in touch.
The main idea of our project is to design and build the playground equipment of students’ dreams and place them to the miniature versio of students’ own school yard. During the project students learn how the supporting structure of the playground equipments (f. ex. triangle structure, reinforced bars etc.) affects on safety. They also learn to design and build the playground equipments of their dreams, they test which material is the best option for the making a model of the playground equipment (paper, toothpins and marshmallows, 3D pen or modelling clay) and they also learn to make a video by using their own mobile phones or school’s digital cameras while documenting their work.
During the project students will work in groups of 3-4. At first all students study the knowledge about the playground equipments after seeing the pictures of equipments. They will study knowledge by searching answers to these questions: what kind of structure of the playground equipment is strong (f. ex. triangle structure, reinforced bars), what kind of shape of the playground equipment is strong and suitable and which are the best material for the real playground equipments and why they are the best options. They will also write down adjectives which describe the equipments of their dreams.
After studying the basic knowledge students will design their equipment by drawing it and writing down the main words they will need while presenting their plans. After that they will build, fold or mold their equipment and place it to the miniature versio of their school yard.
Junfang will build the miniature version of their school yard in Taiyuan before coming to Beijing with her students because they need the pictures of their school’s walls.
– Jaana from Metsokangas Comprehensive School –
Two Fulbright teachers from USA visited our school before the winter holiday.
On the first day in Oulu they visited the lukio of Oulunsalo. During that day they saw how the students use e-books and different software f. ex. during the Maths lessons, heard about the Finnish lukio system and interviewed a few students about the futuristic world.
On the second day of their visit they visited our school in Metsokangas. Steven’s morning started with the interview with 9th Graders and Nat took part in the Chemistry lesson. After that they both had a possibility to visit the Handcrafts lesson with 6th Graders, then they visited our modern campus Korpimetso and after that they had a presentation for 6th Graders who heard information about their home country and after the presentation the 6th Graders asked them many questions about the theme.
The visit was excellent and it was a great possibility to our students to talk with native speakers while the students guided Nat and Steven from different class to another class.
– Minna, Petri and Jaana from Metsokangas Comprehensive School-
On this May we have worked very hard with our new project called: On a Journey. Our project here in Finland and in China is about a library as a learning space. We work with our school library and so do my colleagues in ZhongGuanCun no 3 Primary School. We have shared ideas about design thinking in Education, and design in general. My students have visited their neighbor libararies and made some observations about places they think is a good place to work and to concentrate. Students have learned the difference between 2D and 3D, they have studied and learned the idea of a square meter and a scale. Now they are doing their ‘hands on’ part: beautiful floor plans and scale models are designed and made by student teams. How many fourth graders fit in a one square meter? Twenty..
We also got a photo of design work from a school in Zhengzhou, my partner no 2 Lu works there. Their idea of modelling and designing is very different from ours. But it is very good to see different ways of thinking, isn’t it!
Raini Sipilä, SYK