FUTURE EDUCATION DESIGN / NEW CURRICULUM REFORM
THE 2ND CHINA-FINLAND PRINCIPALS FORUM (BASIC EDUCATION) Review
Since ICP 2015 and CFP 2015 in August last year, the 2nd China-Finland Principals Forum (Basic Education) was held in August 2016 in Tampere, Finland. Over 170 educational experts, principals and teachers from China joined the forum which created a new history of educational exchanges between the two countries. CFP 2016 was highly valued by Finland. Some politicians including Deputy Speaker of Finnish Parliament Mr. Arto Satonen, Member of the European Parliament and Former Minister of Finnish Education Ministry Ms. Henna Virkkunen, Director-General for Finnish National Board of Education Mr. Aulis Pitkälä, attended and delivered important or keynote speeches in the forum. Besides Finnish principals and teachers, there were more than 100 local leaders, education administrators, researchers from different cities or regions of Finland as well as representatives of Finnish enterprises organized by Finpro.
The theme of the forum was “Future Education Design / New Curriculum Reform”, focusing on three sub-themes: Education Management & Leadership, Curriculum Reform & Innovation, and Teaching & Learning Environment Design. CFP 2016 was hosted by Finland-China Education Association (FICEA), co-organized by Association of Finnish Principals, the municipal government of Tampere, the municipal government of Sastamala, the municipal government of Rovaniemi, and some cooperation partners of FICEA in China. The forum drew a high attention of Chinese and Finnish media.
Ms. Sanna Lauslahti, the President of CFP 2016, Member of Finnish Parliament, Vice Chairperson of Education and Culture Committee of Finnish Parliament, Senior Advisor of FICEA
Along with beautiful Projecter Dancing designed and ordered by FICEA, CFP 2016 began with an opening ceremony. On the ceremony, the President of CFP 2016, Member of Finnish Parliament, Vice Chairperson of Education and Culture Committee of Finnish Parliament, Senior Advisor of FICEA Ms. Sanna Lauslahti addressed first to warmly welcome educators from China and Finland. She said that education is so essential to a country’s future that many countries are exploring on a reform as same as what Finland and China are doing. The forum under the theme of “Future Education Design / New Curriculum Reform” was offering an opportunity to educators from the two countries to exchange and learn to each other. She hoped that the forum was giving cross-time educational ideas to the participants, hoped that the participants expand cooperation and exchanges on education to achieve complementary and win-win developments with such an opportunity.
Mr. Arto Satonen, Deputy Speaker of Finnish Parliament, Senior Advisor of FICEA
Deputy Speaker of Finnish Parliament Mr. Arto Satonen gave an important speech on the ceremony. First of all, he offed his sincere greetings and welcomes to the participants on behalf of the Parliament of Finland, made a brief review on cooperation and exchanges in the fields of politics, economic, science & technology, education & culture between the two countries. He said, FICEA plays a major role in the Finland-China education exchanges and cooperation with remarkable achievements. CFP is not only regarded as a model of Finland-China cooperation but also opens up an important way for Finnish and Chinese educators to learn each other. The cooperation is essential and benefits the two sides. He hoped that Finland-China education cooperation would go further with win-win developments while benefiting children from the two countries. At last, Mr. Satonen appreciated the efforts from FICEA who organized CFP successfully and other co-organizers.
Mr. Yuhang Gao, the Head of Education Sector in the Embassy of P.R. China in Finland
In his speech, the Head of Education Sector in the Embassy of P.R. China in Finland Mr. Yuhang Gao compared the current situation of basic education in China and Finland. He stressed that the education of the two countries has its own characteristics, stressed the importance of China-Finland education cooperation. He said he was delighted to see that CFP is becoming better and better especially highly valued by Finland. He hoped that the two countries’ educators continue and enhance cooperation.
Ms. Leena Kostiainen, Deputy Mayor of Tampere
Deputy Mayor of Tampere Ms. Leena Kostiainen appreciated FICEA for organizing the forum in her speech. She said that either FICEA or Finland-China education cooperation and exchanges mean a lot to Tampere.
Mr. Jari Andersson, Chairman of FICEA, Chairman of the Sastamala City Council
Mr. Matti Hännikäinen, Representative of Finnish Principals
Chairman of FICEA, Chairman of the Sastamala City Council Mr. Jari Andersson, and Representative of Finnish Principals Mr. Matti Hännikäinen addressed the ceremony successively either.
Local famous dance teams, pianist, student band made wonderful performances for the participants in the forum.
Guests gave keynote speeches respectively on the basis of three sub-themes. They introduced new curriculum reforms in their countries from different perspectives and levels, analyzed problems and challenges they are confronting with. They also shared achievements and experiences they have gotten in the reforms.
Sub-Theme 1: Curriculum Reform & Innovation
Ms. Henna Virkkunen, Member of the European Parliament, Former Minister of Finnish Education Ministry
Member of the European Parliament and Former Minister of Finnish Education Ministry Ms. Henna Virkkunen made a keynote speech “Leading Position of Finnish Education in Europe”. Through comparing with other European countries, she pointed out that Finnish education system is a mixture of national and international ideas, cultures and history and the strength of the system is not built on one factor only but depends on many factors, such as equality, high-educated teachers, Social support and consensus – education is equally good for all.
Mr. Aulis Pitkälä, Director-General for Finnish National Board of Education
In the speech “Education in Finland”, Director-General for Finnish National Board of Education Mr. Aulis Pitkälä discussed the new curriculum reform in Finland deeply via a comparison with other countries all over the world. The reform will be from “what to learn” to “how to learn”, composed of pedagogical reform, building integrity of basic education, changing school culture, curriculum as a digital tool. Before introducing accountabilities within the curriculum process, Mr. Aulis Pitkälä analyzed core ideas of the reform on basic education from four sides: sustainable way of living, integrative teaching, comprehensive education and active learner.
Mr. Xiping Tao, Honorary President of Asian Pacific Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centers and Associations
Honorary President of Asian Pacific Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centers and Associations Mr. Xiping Tao delivered a speech “The Trend of Basic Education Reform in China”. He pointed out challenges and opportunities for world education development by showing two imbalances and two changes. The target of education reforms around the world is social inclusiveness, equality, life-long learning for all. He mainly introduced the new reform in China, which is supposed to achieve equalization, quality-oriented, individualization, informatization and internationalization.
Mr. Benzhong Wang, Chairman of The High School Education Committee of The Chinese Society of Education
In the speech “Current Situation and Reform of Chinese Education in Upper Secondary Schools”, Chairman of The High School Education Committee of The Chinese Society of Education Mr. Benzhong Wang elaborated the present situation, problems and ongoing reform of upper secondary education system in China with a series of detailed statistical data.
Ms. Taina Peltonen, Director of Education and Culture of Mänttä-Vilppula city, FICEA Board Member
National Curriculum Localization: As one of the national curriculum writers and participants, Director of Education and Culture of Mänttä-Vilppula city, FICEA Board Member Ms. Taina Peltonen gave a speech “Responsibility for Curriculum Work and Cooperation” to explain the history, features, primary points and future direction of the new reform in Finland. Her speech highlighted especially national curriculum localization since she is a director of local department of education. She also emphasized that the two countries should work together to enhance international cooperation.
Mr. Chunyan Gong, Head of Chongqing Educational Evaluation Institute
The speech delivered by Mr. Chunyan Gong, Head of Chongqing Educational Evaluation Institute, was “Curriculum Reform in China and Finland through Yang Jiang’s Ideas”. Yang jiang, a famous Chinese playwright, author and translator had life goals as same as the targets of Finnish education. By comparing key abilities between Chinese and Finnish students, Mr. Chunyan Gong elaborated that Finnish education values creative thinking, autonomous learning and self-management. They meet the nature of education.
Ms. Xiya Liu, Deputy to The People’s Congress, Principal of Chongqing Xiejiawan Primary School
School-based National Curriculum: Taking her school for instance, Deputy to The People’s Congress, Principal of Chongqing Xiejiawan Primary School Ms. Xiya Liu made a speech “School Curriculum Reform - the Path of Integration” to introduce how to develop school-based curriculum and implement a reform in daily teaching. As the principal of one of the most influential primary-education-reform schools in China, Ms. Xiya Liu shared her school idea “Six Years That Make a Lifelong Difference”, “student-centered” development goal, exploration on the school-based curriculum and learning materials. The reform in Xiejiawan Primary School is based on the national curriculum while combining the school’s situation with domestic and international outstanding outcomes of education, particularly the deep cooperation with Finland.
Ms. Fengqin Wu, Vice Principal of Beijing National Day School
In the speech “Let Education Serve the Self-development of Each Student”, Vice Principal of Beijing National Day School Ms. Fengqin Wu introduced the curriculum reform in her school in detail from courses to resources services, rule and regulation-supported to assessment system, etc. She discussed how education meets individual needs of students, helps them actualize self-development with abilities or skills for living in the future.
Sub-Theme 2: Education Management & Leadership
Ms. Arja-Sisko Holappa, Counsellor of Education in the Finnish National Board of Education
Ms. Arja-Sisko Holappa, Counsellor of Education in the Finnish National Board of Education, gave a speech “Finnish Curriculum System and Local Leadership”. She analyzed broad concept of Finnish curriculum, features of national education system. At the same time she explained what a role that relevant departments of local governments and school leadership are supposed to play in the process of making national curriculum localized or school-based.
Mr. Ari Pokka, President of International Confederation of Principals (ICP) 2015-2016
In the speech titled of “Old, New, Borrowed and Blue”, President of International Confederation of Principals (ICP) 2015-2016 Mr. Ari Pokka contrasted the new with the old from the perspective of a principal, discussed how to find “the third way” to the future education and lead a school to achieve sustainable development in the 21st century.
Ms. Riikka Lindroos, Chairman of the Association of Finnish Principals
“What Makes a Great School” was the speech that Ms. Riikka Lindroos, Chairman of the Association of Finnish Principals, delivered in the forum. From the same perspective as Mr. Ari Pokka, Ms. Riikka Lindroos argued what elements a great school should be composed of, what a great school should be like, what relationships among school, teachers, students and parents. She also argued that the key of a great school is “great people” including students, teachers and principals with related qualities and abilities.
Ms. Langlang Yang, Principal of Chongqing Renmin Primary School
By a metaphor “A Trip for Education” which was also the speech’s title, Principal of Chongqing Renmin Primary School Ms. Langlang Yang showed how to break through barriers of education in the process of school-based curriculum evolution and management, how to balance individual development of teachers and school culture, how to push forward their school-based curriculum system EOC (Experience、Open and Comprehensive) focusing on expertise, responsibility, comprehensiveness and quality.
Ms. Maarit Rossi, Top 10 Finalist of The Global Teacher Prize-contest
Ms. Maarit Rossi, Top 10 Finalist of The Global Teacher Prize-contest in 2016, shared many examples in her speech to explain how to build classroom leadership of teachers on the basis of one specific subject in order to improve teaching quality. Meanwhile, she also discussed about classroom innovation and combination of subjects and key competencies.
Ms. Li Luo, Vice Director of cooperation office of Beijing Normal University
Vice Director of cooperation office of Beijing Normal University Ms. Li Luo made a speech “BNU-Government-School -- Basic Education Reforms and Exploration from the Perspective of Cooperative School”, elaborated a new approach to cooperative education – the university runs schools with local governments together. She laid special stress on how to integrate high-quality educational resources for the balanced development of education through this new mode of cooperative education.
Sub-Theme 3: Teaching & Learning Environment Design
Mr. Mauri Ylä-Kotola, Principal of University of Lapland
The Principal of University of Lapland Mr. Mauri Ylä-Kotola discussed about education from a non-educational perspective mixed psychology and philosophy. He elaborated how to see the development of future schools via the evolution of information technology, how information technology serves education better in order to reach the core target of the new curriculum reform – making a school with local characteristics.
Mr. Seppo Kerranen, Director of Education Export Finland Program
Ms. Irma Ylikangas, Director of Beautiful Beijing Program
Director of Education Export Finland Program Mr. Seppo Kerranen and Director of Beautiful Beijing Program Ms. Irma Ylikangas made speeches on digital schools in Finland and learning environment design of future school. They showed how to build a green clean campus, make learning environment better for the physical and mental development of students in the future.
Representatives of Information Technology Research and Development Enterprises in Finland
In ICT Pitching, information technology research and development enterprises in Finland were invited to do presentations in the forum. They introduced status quo, prospects and achievements of educational informatization in Finland while showing digital platforms, educational resource management and educational content delivery to the participants. ICT Pitching was hosted by Professor Viteli (Picture: first from the left) from University of Tampere.
The enterprises’ representatives were engaged in a lively discussion with the audience. They exchanged ideas and experiences, questioned and answered to each other around a series topics, for instance: how ICT works better with education, how to integrate new teaching ideas or methods into digital learning systems in the future, how to maximize the autonomy of students and teachers, how to form an innovative educational model by uniting families, schools and society as a whole, etc..
Education Cooperation and Its Possibilities
Picture: from left to right
Ms. Fengqin Wu, Vice Principal of Beijing National Day School
Mr. Antti Isoviita, Manager of Global Education at HAMK (Häme University of Applied Sciences)
Mr. Shiming He, Principal of Fengtai No.2 Middle School of Beijing
Ms. Taina Peltonen, Director of Education and Culture of Mänttä-Vilppula city, FICEA Board Member
Mr. Matti Hännikäinen, Principal of Tammerkosken lukio
Mr. Xiongfei Gong, Director of Chongqing Shapingba Teacher School
Mr. Xiandong Cheng, Principal-General Nanshan Experimental Educational Group
The education seminar was for the educators from Finland and China to know and learn each other more. Some Finnish and Chinese educational experts were invited to have a lively discussion with all of participants on the topic of the seminar “Education Cooperation and Its Possibilities”.
The two countries’ educators exchanged views on educational systems of one another, at the same time they discussed about some hot issues on education, for instance: how to integrate advantages of both local and international education, how to improve teacher training, how to take care of students’ differences through individualized teaching, how to make evaluation systems more objective and human-oriented, how to turn disadvantages into advantages, etc..
Mr. Dong Li, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of FICEA
As the host of the seminar, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of FICEA Mr. Dong Li gave a review on the seminar and forum according to the three sub-themes at last. He argued that the two countries can learn each other on education although they have different educational and evaluation systems. School leadership plays a very important role on the reforms. Information and communication technology is an assisted tool but not a solution for all of educational problems. He said, “Our technology can not do without the studying on humans, just as our educational reforms can not do without the attention on individual students.” He also pointed out “teachers are the hardest part to change”. As the first implementer of education, teachers are directly related to whether educational reforms can go forward and be implemented successfully or not.
Mr. Li stressed “specific implementation strategies are the advantage of Finnish education”, which is worth of learning particularly. And with such a common platform – CFP to share experiences and challenges on education or reforms from different levels and perspectives, it is the purpose and significance of CFP 2016.
A welcome reception was hosted by FICEA for all of participants from the two countries in the first evening.
Vice Chairperson of Education and Culture Committee of Finnish Parliament Ms. Sanna Lauslahti, Director of Technopolis in Tampere Ms. Satu Eskelinen and Mr. Dong Li addressed to the reception successively. They welcomed the Chinese and Finnish educators, appreciated the participation and supports on the forum. They hope that the two countries find new opportunities and approaches to do exchanges, to develop together.
The guests enjoyed the time with one common language – education, one common emotion – passion on education, one common ideal and goal – making a better education for the future.
Reception in Tampere City Hall
A reception dinner was hosted by the municipal government of Tampere in the Tampere City Hall the following evening. The participants from China and some principal representatives from local schools were invited to the reception.
On behalf of the municipal government, Deputy Mayor of Tampere Ms. Leena Kostiainen firstly gave warm welcomes to the Chinese educators. In the speech, she appreciated the efforts that FICEA – the most important partner of Tampere – had made on promoting educational cooperation and exchanges between China and Finland, especially the cooperation between China and Tampere. The deputy mayor was full of praise for the forum offering an opportunity to Chinese and Finnish educators to do a deeper communication. She looked forward to more China-Finland cooperation.
During the forum, local education authorities and schools from different areas of China signed “long-term strategic cooperation agreement” with relevant educational institutions in Finland. A number of schools from the two countries, including primary, lower and upper secondary schools, signed “sister school agreement” as well as made achievements on educational exchanges.
FUTURE EDUCATION DESIGN – REFORMING THE EDUCATION OF TODAY FOR TOMORROW
After the three-day agenda, the 2nd China-Finland Principals Forum (Basic Education) came to a successful end. Education needs to change since times are changing, our society is changing. Changing is ought to begin from today, otherwise there would be so many “tomorrows”. Just as the words Steve Jobs quoted, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” Never be tired of improving while keeping forward all the time. Therefore, so many educators with the same educational ideal were drawn to CFP 2016 to “learn the useful and share the best”. “Future education design” actually means – “reforming the education of today for tomorrow”!
Hope we remember the original purpose of education to build its tomorrow together.
CFP 2016 has attracted much attention from local media in Finland and media in China. Some of them, such as Xinhua News Agency, China Education Online, Gbtimes, have conducted follow-up reports and interviews on the forum.
In the middle: Xinhua News Agency
Top left: China Education Online
Top right: Gbtimes
Bottom left: local media in Rovaniemi
Bottom right: local media in Tampere
We are looking forward –
To seeing you on CFP 2017 – the Third China-Finland Principals Forum (Basic Education)!
Picture 1: The Mayor, director of Education and other leaders of Rovaniemi received the guests from China in the Rovaniemi City Hall.
Picture 2: The municipal government of Rovaniemi signed the agreement with FICEA on co-organizing CFP 2017. (The left: Mr. Esko Lotvonen, Mayor of Rovaniemi)
Picture: A part of the participants in the forum