The Teacher, Course and Language Deed of the Year were announced at the Opening Carnival which was organised on campus this year. The Opening Carnival celebrates the beginning of a new academic year and welcomes especially new students to the University of Turku.
The programme of the Carnival included a welcome speech from the Rector, awarding the Teacher and Course of the Year together with the representatives of the Student Union of the University of Turku, as well as announcing the Language Deed of the Year.
– As a university community, we start the rebuilding of our communality and everyday life at the beginning of the new academic year. The most important theme is restoring students’ social contacts and safe physical communality. We know that being part of the student community and the entire University is important for the progress of studies and students’ well-being. This academic year, we will try to organise as much contact teaching as possible for all students. At the same time, we continue to develop education that is not dependent on time and location in order to provide flexibility in studies for different life situations. The most important aspect in education is its high quality and continuous development, said Rector Jukka Kola in his speech.
Rector Kola also reminded that even though we are living in uncertain times, research, scholarship, and academic experts are always needed.
– I wish you all a rewarding, inspiring and safe academic year!
Teacher of the Year Acknowledges Every Student as an Individual
The Teacher of the Year is University Teacher Maria Broholm (English Academic and Professional Skills for Education, Centre for Language and Communication Studies, Department of Teacher Education at Rauma). The justifications of the Student Union state that Broholm’s teaching is engaging, has a positive approach, and is student-oriented. She shows her passion towards her work. Broholm plans her teaching so that each student is acknowledged as an individual on each lesson and the entire course.
In addition, the justifications state that as the course has progressed, Broholm has regularly contacted her students and shown an interest towards the progress of studies. She has made it possible to integrate the themes of the students’ major subject into studying the English language. Broholm is aware that the students’ well-being and motivation for studying are connected. She has created a place for discussion where the students can express their worries.
Suggestions for the Teacher and Course of the Year were collected from students. They were requested to take into particular consideration the challenges caused by the exceptional circumstances and organising teaching and courses alternatively to the initial plans.
Course of the Year Inspires and Prompts Discussion
The Course of the Year is a course on addiction medicine which is part of the Doctor and the Society module. The responsible teacher is Associate Professor Solja Niemelä.
The goal of the addiction medicine course is to activate the student to identify and consider the attitudes and stigma related to substance abuse which can impede the treatment of a person suffering from addiction. The course also uses the simulation method in an insightful way. The course inspires students, prompts discussion and handles the topic, which is common but still stigmatised in our society, in an constructive way by focusing on solutions.
The focus is not solely on selecting treatment methods but the equally important factors are interaction between the patient and doctor, body language, non-verbal communication, and multi-professional collaboration. The course is an interesting example of a realisation where interaction is the key feature even in remote teaching, both in learning and study methods.
Turun normaalikoulu School Trains Skilled Experts in Multiculturalism
The winner of the Language Deed of the Year is Turun normaalikoulu school, which is the teacher training school of the University of Turku. Turun normaalikoulu school trains the future teachers into skilled experts in multiculturalism. The school is open to all linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and has an important role in the Varissuo district where it is situated.
Turun normaalikoulu school creates a safe environment for teacher trainees to practice their skills and learn more about different cultures, languages and ethnicities. In addition, the school introduces methods for making teaching more accessible to learners with Finnish as a second language and pupils with special educational needs.