A Celebration of Learning – Helsinki Education Week Starts Today!
The wait is over: the week-long Helsinki Education Week starts today! We welcome you to discover skills of the future at events created by teachers, learners and international innovators. We asked the event organisers for their thoughts about the opening.
Coding workshops, a bilingual quiz (Finnish and Swedish) and familiar faces from last year
The students of class 4B in Puistopolku primary school will be holding coding workshops during the week. “I’m excited, because I get to teach something new that I’ve learned myself. You’ll learn all kinds of fun stuff. There’s nothing difficult about this as long as you follow the instructor,” says Kaarlo. “It’s fun to see how others react to teaching by us pupils students ,” adds Siiri. The pupils promise their workshops are bound to have a positive atmosphere and will make everyone feel good. “It’s great to be part of Helsinki Education Week. I’m really looking forward to pupils students being able to demonstrate their skills and share their knowledge,” says class teacher Antto Wirman.
All of Helsinki is invited to watch the bilingual quiz, which promises to be lots of fun. This event will be opened by Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen, and will be a battle of wits between a team of pupils and a team of teachers. Think you might know the answers? “After the long period of lockdown during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re very excited to get schools from all over the city involved in a fun quiz! At the same time, it gives us all an opportunity to brush up on our knowledge of Helsinki,” says Communications Officer Casper Almqvist of the City of Helsinki, who is organising both the quiz and Swedish Week, which is taking place around the same time. “We are testing something new at this event, and I’m overwhelmed how playful and creative the Helsinki-based teachers who were involved in planning this are!”
Check out these events during the week also, which were organised by experienced participants in last year’s Helsinki Education Week:
- Twelve-year-old Kasper Olin will be providing expert guidance in dachshund origami workshop (in Finnish).
- A joint reading event Läs - Lue – Read held by three schools will publish their latest recommended reads on social media every day.
Sharing professional know-how in peer-led events
“It’s a pleasure to share knowledge, receive peer feedback from other education professionals and gain a broader outlook with the help of colleagues’ subject knowledge and views,” says Jesse Jarva, a teacher at Vuoniitty comprehensive school in Helsinki. During the week, Jarva will be holding workshops on the use of 360 degree media in learning materials (in Finnish ), where participants will get a realistic view of how 360 degree video filming can be used in primary education and the possibilities and limitations of technology as a learning aid.
Those interested in learning environments will also have the opportunity to take a virtual peek into schools in Helsinki. “Helsinki Education Week is a great way to show the general public the wonderful and effective things that are being done in our units in this field,” says Marika Lahti, Planner of International Affairs at the City of Helsinki planner and organiser of virtual visits.
During the virtual visits held in English, the learning environments’ own staff guide the visitors and tell them about the activities at the Daycare Franzénia, Jätkäsaari Comprehensive School, Vuosaari Upper Secondary School and Stadin AO, the Helsinki Vocational College and Adult Institute's Meritalo Unit and Prinsessantie unit. “Some of the participants might well be encouraged to try a particular approach at their school too.”
Staff of the units will also present their best practices at the following events:
- How to make a group portfolio with children? Tips on offer at the event: Portfolio work at Merirasti Daycare Centre (in Finnish)
- Visitors are invited to play a game of Seppo using escape room pedagogy in a workshop for comprehensive school and secondary school teachers: Survive in the digital jungle with an escape room game! (in Finnish)
- What is good self-directed learning and open teaching at the elementary school level? Learn more at: Open Learning Environments and Children's Self Determination, Review of Studies & Empirical findings
- “With the help of hand puppets, we can talk with children, not at them”. Learn about the use of hand puppets in teaching at the Swedish-language event Handdockan som pedagogiskt Verktyg (hand puppets as a pedagogical tool).
A great opportunity to discuss learning with international professionals
During Helsinki Education Week, teachers and educators working in Helsinki will also be able to share their expertise with international colleagues. One of them is the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies in Yerevan, Armenia. “Helsinki Education Week provides an excellent opportunity to discuss new pedagogical approaches with the wider educational community,” says TUMO - Walk-Away Pedagogy event organiser Pegor Papazian, Chief Development Officer at TUMO.
“Participants in the event will have the opportunity to look at consensual learning. What would happen if teenagers were free to choose whether they were present in a learning environment?”
Also check out the following international events:
- A discussion on diversity in children’s literature chaired by three American teachers and researchers: Diversity in Children's Literature.
- How can researchers help take learners outside the classroom for virtual visits? Learn about the topic at this event: Smashing Classrooms Walls Through Virtual Events.
- What is it like to be a teacher or principal in Finland? Come and follow the discussions when Finnish and Australian education and training professionals meet at events: Finland/Australia/World Principals Connect ja Finnish Educators Connect - What does Finnish Learning Look Like?
Welcome to a celebration of learning in Helsinki! Check out the entire programme and join the events here: Helsinki Education Week programme.