Finland 100 years: TAMK donated a week of education to Brazil

Finland 100 years: TAMK donated a week of education to Brazil

To celebrate long-term educational cooperation and Finland's 100-year independence, TAMK wanted to donate the Brazilian public sector schools a sample of what investment in teacher education and staff motivation can achieve.

Proud students with their certificates
Proud students with their certificates

The one-week education in São Paulo offered public sector school representatives the chance to experience Finnish educators' inspiring and practical teaching and reflect and develop their competence together with their colleagues.

A total of 25 persons participated in the education. They were public schools' education authorities and teacher educators who are in charge of basic education syllabuses in the public sector and plan further training for teachers. Through them the new working methods will spread to the schools and everyday teaching.
The education was organised at Rio Branco School in São Paulo. The school is a long-term cooperation partner of TAMK. The educators were Sisko Mällinen and Juha Lahtinen from TAMK's School of Vocational Teacher Education. They already had prior experience in educating Brazilian teachers. Further challenge was given by the language barrier as the group did not speak any English and two eager English teachers from Rio Branco worked as interpreters and assistant teachers. The arrangements were successful and the warm spring weather favoured our diligent students.

- The donated week was a pilot, which we of course would like to continue. Our Brazilian cooperation partners and especially the group we worked with seemed to want the same, rejoices Sisko Mällinen.

The education focused on planning of student-centred teaching and learning, assessment, activation methods, as well as the Finnish basic education syllabus, its origins and basic ideas. The students gained personal experience in the methods during two problem-based learning tutorials. The aim was to show that the subject is understood better if learning takes place by solving genuine real-life situations instead of theoretical studies alone. The students also learned to use social media tools. 

- Tools that are familiar to us Finns were completely new to Brazilians. I think we achieved a lot in a week and the group participated eagerly in all exercises. The work was inspiring and teamwork with Juha went well. I feel privileged with such groups as their thirst for knowledge and willingness to learn are so high. It is rewarding to the educator when one's expertise is acutely needed, Mällinen tells.

- The Brazilian participants were creative and had a positive attitude to development. Working with Sisko was flexible, adds Juha Lahtinen.

The week culminated in a seminar with more than 500 invited participants from the educational sector of São Paulo. The seminar focused on Finnish teacherhood and the reasons for the international success of our educational system. The speakers of the seminar included Finnish Ambassador to Brazil Markku Virri and Minister of Education José Renato Nalini from São Paulo, as well as the TAMK team: Carita Prokki, Virpi Heinonen, Sisko Mällinen, and Juha Lahtinen.

- From the viewpoint of education export, reciprocity is an asset. We have after all learnt from our students as much as they have from us. Obrigado Brasil!, state Prokki and Heinonen.

Further information:
Carita Prokki, 
Director, TAMK EDU

Pictures: Rio Branco, Virpi Heinonen

Published 13.10.2017