• Published on August 19, 2019

Finnish Experience® – Education event

“The best education event I have ever attended” was the feedback of one of the 278 teachers participating in our inaugural “Finnish Experience” event in Taiping on 24 & 25 April 2019. 

So how do you respond to such an awesome comment? 

“Thank you, that’s the best feedback I have ever received!”

No alt text provided for this image

The Finnish Experience event was the world premier for a new type of event that showcases Finnish education methods and technology. We wanted to start an honest dialogue and create a platform that encouraged sharing between local and Finnish teachers. We also wanted to inspire an exchange of ideas. And we did. And boy, we also had a lot of fun while doing so!

No alt text provided for this image

So how did all this start?

In October 2018, I arranged a trip for a group of school principals from Perak to visit Finland. They were very impressed with what they had experienced during the trip. Eventually Mr. Ravi from Larut Matang Dan Selama District Education Office asked me, “Can you bring a part of Finland to Malaysia as we cannot get all our teachers to visit Finland?”

I obliged. 

No alt text provided for this image

We started planning in January 2019 and were calling everywhere to get financial support to make this venture possible. Thanks to the support of our sponsors (Finnish Education Solutions Sdn Bhd, Nokia phones, HMD Global, Moomin Language School, Qridi, Eduten, Beed, Kide Science, Rite, Invictus Leader) we were ready to launch the event in April.

No alt text provided for this image

What was this event about?

Our intention was to make this event different. As Finnish education mostly revolves around experimental learning, we realized that a conference would not have been the right platform for us. 

How then could we come to Malaysia to lecture the teachers with a message “don’t lecture, but create experiences instead”. It’s like the proverb “the shoemaker’s children go barefoot”. So we decided it won’t be a conference. It won’t be a seminar. 

No alt text provided for this image

We wanted it to be a hands-on experience of the best Finnish education methods and tools. Something where teachers can follow Finnish teachers at work and experience how the famous teaching methods are implemented in practice. We didn’t want to come to teach or preach but show how we do it in Finland and let people experience, apply and adapt when they see something useful. 

So how did we do it?

First of all, we wanted to be in a very average Malaysian school to highlight the fact that teaching methods are not about fancy facilities. We also wanted the Finnish teachers to experience and share the everyday realities with Malaysian teachers. Secondly, we wanted to emphasize the student-centric approach that’s fundamental to our teaching methods. We started the program with the kids in the morning and had the opening ceremony and other official topics in the afternoon when most of the kids left for home. They wouldn’t have enjoyed that part anyways.

No alt text provided for this image

About the content. 

We had altogether 22 demonstration classes in different subjects for different ages. 300 children were gathered from tens of different schools around the area to participate in the classes. We had 278 teachers divided to groups of 30 to observe the teaching.

No alt text provided for this image

Subjects covered in the classroom sessions were:

–       Playful Language Learning 

–       Phenomenon Based STEM 

–       Teaching English The Fun Way 

–       How to run a classroom when there is no common language? 

–       Utilising AI in Mathematics  

–       Code School 

No alt text provided for this image

Every demonstration classroom session took 45 mins after which the performing Finnish teachers went through the lesson plan with observing teachers and discussing the objectives, methods and challenges. It was an open dialogue with local and Finnish teachers that created many fruitful discussions.

Besides the classroom sessions, we had five very interesting presentations as well:

No alt text provided for this image

1.     Education as a Key to the Nation’s Success

2.      Wellbeing for better performance 

3.     Formative Assessments 

4.     School Culture Development

5.     Study in Finland opportunities

Can I learn more about the topics covered in the event?

You can watch the below video introductions to the topics. You can also download the presentations and lessons plans here: http://tiny.cc/80gfbz

Did you got more feedback?

We did an online feedback survey to all participants and received 114 responses. The feedback was generally very good and most of the people would want to participate in the future events.

How likely are you to attend another one of our events?

“It’s a great experience to be up close and personal with the Finnish education and see for ourselves the implementation in the classrooms”

“U brought Findlands Education System to our doorstep. Great insight to my unanswered questions. Simply fantastic.”

You can view the full report here: http://tiny.cc/wlhfbz

Can you do the same in my education district?

We definitely can. And Will. Just contact me here at Linkedin and let’s make it happen!