A week full of ambiance and stories

What kind of effect do animals have on student wellbeing? What are flexible learning environments like? Do adults change as a result of young people growing up? How can social abilities be learned with the arts aid in special education? An answer to these and many other questions was sought during the 2023 Helsinki Education Week. The week started snowy and white, but the atmosphere was colourful

Animals teaching learners well-being and responsibility

One of the week's events was held at Vesala Comprehensive School, where a visiting preschool group got to meet and get acquainted with the school garden's animals. The preschoolers were guided by middle school students from Vesala, who have received animal caretaker training. In the school, the caretakers are known as “Kasvarilaiset”.

“How do you know if a guinea pig is a girl?” What do snakes eat? What happens if the animals get sick? The preschoolers had many questions and equally many new things to learn. The guides also mentioned that they have learned a lot about animals as well as how to take care of them. What has been the most important lesson? “Responsibility” caretakers Nelli and Adeline state in unison. 

“If an animal is suffering because of something you did not do, but you were supposed to, you understand that the animal depends on you. Its well-being depends on your care, you must remember that”, ponders ninth grader Adeline.

From learners to teachers

One of the youngest event organisers of the week was Kerttu Saatsi, whose dream is to become a math teacher. Her hybrid event at Porolahti Comprehensive School gathered participants both offline and online to listen to her thoughts on teaching math from the viewpoint of a student. 

“Happy mathematics day!” Saatsi opened the event and stated that she had never heard anyone else use the greeting before. It’s a shame as math has a strong role in everyone's daily life. Especially in school, it would be important to motivate students to learn the subject, she ponders and comes up with some ways how this could be executed.

“This definitely raised some thoughts”, said Jarno Porkka, the school math teacher.

Helsinki learns digitalisation

On Thursday Helsinki learnt digitalisation as almost a hundred education division specialists gathered at Helsinki City Hall. They aimed to hear and get an idea of the different digital digital environments and tools for education. Rasmus Clement from Oulunkylä Primary School came to get inspired by the event and stated that he got some good ideas for his work.

“ Yes, I got what I came for. I do not wish to leave the ideas adrift; instead, I intend to allow them to settle and then commence work on devising ways to implement them. But it was amazing to see what everyone else was working on.”

Pakila Middle School’s teacher Maria Alen says she will take the “Learners Digi-path” into her teaching.

“We are integrating with an elementary school, so this kind of unified Digi-path is something interesting alongside Thinglink and Minecraft if someone wants to use it. There were also many other interesting events during the week, but there were some schedule overlaps unfortunately. Otherwise, I would’ve attended those events also!”