Participatory design renews the Finnish school landscape
Finland has for long been a model country of education, but how can we guarantee that, in the rapidly changing world, it will also continue to be that?
Ideas to meet this challenge have been sought in the HundrED project, which is part of the programme for the centenary of Finland’s independence. Among other things, this project aims to find one hundred great teaching innovations and implement them in Finnish schools during next school year.
Ten of the one hundred innovations selected to the project in April are based on the working methods and ideas of participatory design obtained in the Future Classroom Network project lead by researchers from Aalto University and University of Oulu.
‘The entire teaching staff of schools have been familiarised with professional designers’ working practices during the workshops, and with the help of those practices they have been able to start developing their school and its working culture straight away. People have without exception been praising the workshops in their feedback. It is great to see that a development method that we have tried and tested in thousands of classrooms in Europe has brought many new ideas to HundrED,’ says researcher Tarmo Toikkanen delighted.
The HundrED innovations based on Uusi Oppimaisema are Different Learning Environments - A Collection, Thinking and Learning Skills, Building a New Operational Culture, Developing Assessment With Digital Tools, Training package for a creative operational culture (in Finnish), Adventure Pedagogy, Different Kind of Mathematics, Learning Foreign Languages In A Digital World and Learning material created and distributed by teachers (in Finnish).
‘The future of the Finnish school is clear. It is open participatory design work that serves the needs of the individual school and in which teachers, pupils, parents and other stakeholder groups cooperate to renew the school, piece by piece,’ Toikkanen summarises.