China-Finland Education Journey in Chongqing: Finnish Basic Education Training in Shanhu Experimental Primary School

On 23rd January 2018, the experts of FICEA conducted a one-week lesson evaluation, on-site Q&A, thematic lectures, heterogeneous lesson design about the subject of science, mathematics, and English etc.



Experts in Class

In the evaluation lessons, teachers from Shanhu primary school gave lessons in science, mathematics, and English. Finnish experts analyzed each lesson in depth and put forward pertinent opinions and suggestions. Besides, the experts and the teachers had thorough discussions about the development of better teaching methods and practice. Through lesson conducting, lesson analyzing, second-time preparing, lesson polishing, and second-time teaching, teachers from Shanhu primary school, under the professional guidance of Finnish experts, utilized school-based materials to explore in-depth innovative teaching activities. In this way, teachers can lead the students to explore phenomena, create phenomena, and develop knowledge in interactive activities, which also promotes the diversity of students.

Experts’ Demonstration and Guidance

The Finnish teachers demonstrated science, home economics and English lessons. In the school basketball hall, Mr. Matti Rossi presented a fun and innovative science lesson called “Exploration of the Universe”. Marty guided the children to build models using their bodies, so that students can learn the size of the planets and the universe, and how human move in outer space.  Students collaboratively built the solar system model according to the scale reduction. Moreover, the students observed the characteristics of different planets and the distance between them, measured the heat and brightness of the planets, and wrote to the families living on the earth.

Ms. Pia Harjula presented a home economics lesson entitled "European Table Etiquette". Pia first elaborated the instructions before the activity to ensure that the children were familiar with all the steps and the principles to prevent potential safety hazards and improve the efficiency. Under the guidance of the teacher, the pizza team made tasty pizzas with microwaves using ingredients such as toast, cheese, and ham. The table-setting group arranged tableware and folded paper towel according to different instructions (schematic, text description, etc.). Before tasting the pizza, Ms. Harjula introduced some European table manners, such as  the usage of knife and fork, European food culture and so on.

Ms. Tiina Yrjenheikki gave a lesson "My Favorite Food" for the third-grade children. She first introduced the topic by asking children’s favorite food and later talked about Finnish specialties. The students were fully engaged in the class and interacting with the teacher actively. They have not only learned about food but also developed hands-on skills and language skills. The demonstration of the experts enabled the teachers to learn how to motivate and engage students in class, how to integrate the knowledge of different disciplines, and how to make full use of various teaching resources to bring a fun content-rich course for children.

Lesson Discussion and Interaction

The Finnish team of experts delivered speeches of how to equip children with skills they need for the future, interdisciplinary learning and so on. They discussed these topics with the Chinese teachers at the subsequent seminars. In response to the question of how to choose school-based resource and develop it in an in-depth and effective manner, the Chinese teachers proposed that in the past one year, through cooperation with FICEA and its education experts, the school has been dedicated to promoting project-based learning, teaching resources developing, and disciplines integrating. The achievement of the efficient integration of school-based resources have been affirmed by Finnish experts, who have also pointed out that the primary school had installed great facilities that support teaching and learning, such as science museum, maker space, library, and basketball hall. Finnish experts emphasized that school teaching resources should be fully applied to students' daily learning and after-school activities. These resources are not only high-tech teaching equipment, but also playgrounds at school, energy-saving lamps, and solar panels that students see on a daily basis. They can truly develop and utilize them in a reasonable, economical, and student-centered manner. In addition, various social and natural resources can also be fully explored by teachers. The ingenious explanations by the experts gave the teachers a better understanding of the development of school-based resources.

Finally, the experts indicated that the development of school-based resources should be student-centered and follow the principle of less is more. They should also be selected based on the curriculum and integrated into the lessons through various activities. As a result, children's self-confidence in future life can be developed.