The Education Finland cluster organised a three-day event for invited Dubai Expo guests on the VIP floor of Finland’s Snow Cape Pavilion in mid-December 2021. The University of Turku Global Educational Services team, the University management and experts on teacher education participated in the event and programme.
Vice Rector of the University of Turku Piia Björn (in the middle in the hero picture) and Vice Rector of the University of Helsinki Hanna Snellman were honoured to open the event and brought with them Rectors’ Greetings from Finland. Björn also participated in the keynote panel discussion “Teacher Education for the Future”.
– Finland wants to be a recognised leader in digitalised learning. We are proud to say that we are on our way towards creating a shared Digivision 2030, which will first serve higher education institutions within Finland, but will be hopefully soon enough be also known globally, says Björn.
– We also know that expertise is built upon caring and understanding interaction right from the very beginning of human life. Our global educational services at the multidisciplinary University of Turku are based on the latest know-how and research conducted at the University, with the help of world-wide collaboration, Björn commented in the lively discussions that took place during the first event day.
The Finnish Early Childhood Education promotes holistic growth, development and learning
Professor Inkeri Ruokonen, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Education, participated in the programme via a virtual connection. Ruokonen introduced the key principles of Finnish early childhood education and care.
– The underlying values of Finnish Early Childhood Education (ECEC) are the best interest of the child, the right to child well-being and equal learning opportunities as well as care and protection. The Finnish ECEC pedagogy promotes children’s holistic growth, development, and learning in collaboration with their guardians. Learning through play is essential in the pedagogy, which also values creativity and arts, skills and, science in holistic, phenomenon-based pedagogy, Ruokonen explained to the audience at the Cape Pavilion.
– In Finland, early childhood teacher education is provided as high-level university degree programmes. At the University of Turku, we have English Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Early Childhood Teacher Education, which is taught in collaboration with Early Childhood and Teacher Education Centre Pikkunorssi (ECTEC), Ruokonen continued, promoting the Bachelor’s Degree Programme with application period starting soon, in January 2022.
Creating new contacts and nuturing the existing ones
According to Dubai Expo Project Manager Ari Koski, Global Educational Services at the University of Turku, Education Finland Days at the Finland Pavilion has been an important event for creating new contacts and nuturing the existing ones.
– We have conducted successful collaborative trainings and projects in the Gulf countries for many years already. Dubai Expo provides an excellent platform for continuing these projects and starting new initiatives and partnerships, says Koski.
Text: Kati Kaarlehto
Pictures: Ari Koski