In August 2014 a 14-member delegation of teachers from Beijing Normal University (BNU) Primary School & Kindergarten visited Finland for an education training program.
BNU is known as one of the most prestigious Chinese institutions of higher education. Its subsidiaries and affiliated nursery schools have high-quality educators, management and faciltities and are well known in China. FICEA organized a training program for the delegation to experience the essence of Finnish education. The customized training program included both theoretical study and practical visits to experience and analyze Finnish education. Ms. Riitta Juusenaho, research manager and education program officer at the city of Tampere, introduced Finnish education to delegation through lectures. She outlined Finnish education policy, education system and the teaching and student evaluation systems.
In the absence of an examination-oriented education system, different to that of China, Finnish education model focuses more on childrens’ growth, with the focus on education being people-oriented and individualized with the theme “no child is left behind.” Ms. Juusenaho also reminded the visitors on the Finnish education philosophy "every child has the right to free, equal and high-quality education."
In addition senior education specialist Mr. Pekka Pellinen spoke on behalf of Finland's largest education publishing group Sanoma Oyj and demonstrated the group’s advanced digital teaching platform, which is currently in use in Finland. The Chinese delegation was impressed and felt that using a similar teaching platform in China would improve teaching quality and efficiency, but also make the children more excited about learning.
At Sylvää school the principal and chairman of the Sastamala city council Mr. Jari Andersson introduced the school, its teaching methods and teaching environment to Chinese guests. The delegation had the opportunity to join different classes such as math, cooking, handicraft, and woodwork and to got to fully experience the Finnish way of “learning by doing”. The delegation also joined baking classes and was especially impressed about the independent skills of the students, who even cleaned the classroom by themselves at the end of the lesson, after preparing delicious cake.
The delegation also visited Vuores School, which is taking part in the “Top School” project as a model school in Finland.The kindergarten and primary school in Vuores are in full accordance with new teaching environment and teaching concept design requirements. The Finnish teachers were enthusiastic to answer the delegation’s questions about Finnish education development. Teacher Ms. Leena Laine gave a special lecture to the group on
“Early Childhood Education in Finland”, after which the delegation had the opportunity to visit the kindergarten facilities and see early education activities in practice. At lunch time the group enjoyed the special Finnish school student lunch, this time salmon soup which is a traditional Finnish meal.
The training program organized by FICEA was praised by the delegation as comprehensive with training both in educational theory and practice. Delegation members were enthusiastic about sharing their experiences with their domestic colleagues, who the delegation members will encourage to also come to Finland for a similar training. The unique Finnish educational system impressed the delegation and they had a memorable and rewarding journey. FICEA warmly welcomes further visits of the Beijing Normal University personnel and looks forward to further collaboration in the field of education!