For theoretical background, you will be introduced to the Finnish perspectives on childhood and learning, to the concept of phenomenon-based learning, and functional teaching methods. You will see how the Finnish society supports children’s development into self-regulating, peer-supporting individuals from a young age.
For practical training, you will get to shadow a Finnish teacher. During the shadowing, you can observe how they apply the Finnish curriculum and pedagogical methods. Besides, you will have several one-on-one discussions with Finnish teachers to ask and discuss how to use the techniques in your school and country. Finally, you will even get to teach in a Finnish class to develop your teaching skills in practice in a safe and nurturing environment, receiving feedback from both the students and their teacher!
Your Finnish teacher-training journey will be supported with a self-assessment learning diary and online course materials for self-study, which will remain at your disposal for 12 months after the training. The materials include videos by leading Finnish teachers, photos and images, further readings, and self-reflection tasks. You will also have a personal tutor from VisitEDUfinn, who will make sure that your course advances according to the plan, and that the teachers participating in your training are available when agreed.
You can select among three tracks of different length.
This option is for those looking for a straight-forward approach: connect with a Finnish classroom, plan the lesson, teach online, and get feedback and a certificate. Quick Boost includes:
Below is the initial program for our one-month virtual teacher training course. Please note that the final program can be customized for the participants’ needs and preferences.
Meeting with your tutor (1 hour)
Your virtual teacher training will begin with an online meeting with your Finnish tutor, your peer, who will guide you to your learning experience. He or she will explain how self-reflection and self-evaluation are applied during your learning journey and how to use your online course library materials. You will also start filling your learning diary, which will become an invaluable tool for you to record and return to your learnings throughout this journey.
Introduction to the Finnish Education system (5 hours)
During this introductory course, you will learn the essential pedagogical, societal, and cultural factors behind the Finnish school system. On top of the materials, you will experience the Finnish way of learning by self-reflection and self-assessment while writing and recording your thoughts into your learning diary.
LIVE virtual visit to a Finnish school (3 x 15 minutes and learning diary)
You will see Finnish education in practice by visiting three different classrooms, each for fifteen minutes. You will observe the teacher and the students and make notes on how they take advantage of phenomenon-based learning and functional teaching methods, among others.
Early years education in Finland (5 hours)
Early childhood education (ECE) in Finland is based on supporting children’s balanced growth, and education comes along with that. This course gives you an idea of the basic principles and structures behind the Finnish ECE and helps you understand the significance of play for the learning emphasized by the Finnish system. For the self-reflection, you will consider the Finnish way’s pros and cons compared to the current early childhood education in your own country and what they could learn from each other.
Learning outside the school building – Forest as a learning environment (5 hours)
During this course, you will learn how Finnish teachers apply outdoors as a motivating learning environment and how they grab their students’ attention by using functional learning methods. You will see small video clips and pictures of Finnish children spending time and learning in a forest, including case examples of preschool children and 5th-grade elementary school students. You will also get an introduction and chance to reflect on different angles of the forest as a learning environment and how that is fitted into the official pedagogical curriculum in Finland. For self-reflection in your learning diary, you will leave your school building to consider where and how you could apply these principles to your work.
LIVE virtual shadowing of a Finnish teacher 1 (45 minutes + learning diary)
You will be able to shadow a Finnish teacher in action to observe the interaction in the class. For self-reflection, you will write your observations in your learning diary.
Meeting with a Finnish teacher, 1 (45 minutes + learning diary)
You will have an online meeting with a Finnish teacher. You can ask questions and discuss the differences and similarities of being a teacher in Finland and your country; your reflections from the previous week’s courses; and your current plan on how to apply your learnings to your work. After the meeting, you will write your self-reflection and assessment of your journey so far in your learning diary.
LIVE virtual shadowing of a Finnish teacher 2 (45 minutes + learning diary)
You will shadow a second Finnish teacher in another school in action to observe the interaction in the class. For self-reflection, you will write your observations and ideas in your learning diary.
LIVE virtual shadowing of a Finnish teacher 3 (45 minutes + learning diary)
You will shadow a third Finnish teacher yet in another school to observe the interaction in the class. For self-reflection, you will write your observations and ideas in your learning diary.
Meeting with an education professional from your country (45 minutes + learning diary)
Now you have gained insight into the Finnish education system from the Finns. To further help you contextualize this information, you will meet an education professional originating from your own country who has lived in Finland for several years. Together, you can discuss the reasons behind the differences and similarities between the two countries’ education systems and what you could bring home from Finland. After the meeting, you will write your updated plan on applying your learnings to your work in your learning diary.
What is the difference between teaching-centered and learning-centered education? Self-reflection task.
In Finland, the students are given responsibility for their learning at a young age, and the purpose of the teacher is to help the students identify and develop their strengths. Revisit the online library materials to consider this topic specifically. How does this relate to your teaching style? Is there something you would like to change in your teaching style? How would you teach in a Finnish class? Write and record in your learning diary.
Meeting with a Finnish teacher, 2 (45 minutes + learning diary)
Since the first meeting with a Finnish teacher, you have now had regular workdays at your school, and you have had many new thoughts about what you have learned about the Finnish system. Next week you will teach a Finnish class online – how exciting! You will now have an online meeting with a Finnish teacher of this class (a different teaching subject and background than the first meeting). You can ask questions about the class and the students you will be teaching. You can reflect on your plan for your teaching for the students. After the meeting, you will write in your diary your self-reflection and assessment of your learning journey so far.
Planning your class – teaching Finnish children (2 hours)
You will teach one class in your subject for Finnish students (in English or with simultaneous interpretation in your native language). It is only one class, but you will still have the opportunity to try out the learnings you have gathered from the training up to now. Making a plan and implementing it in practice will allow you to understand the Finnish perspective.
In this task, you will plan for your virtual class for Finnish students taking place the following week. In the plan, you will answer the following questions: What is the class’s learning objective? Where will you hold the teaching? (Classroom or somewhere else – make sure the internet connection also works). How will you motivate and activate the students to learn? Which pedagogical methods will you use? How will you and the students assess the reaching of the objectives?
Meeting with your tutor (45 minutes + learning diary)
You will go through your plan with your tutor to give you confidence and check that the technology works.
Teaching a Finnish class (45 minutes + learning diary)
You will teach a Finnish class according to your plan, and a Finnish teacher will shadow you. After the session, you will self-evaluate and reflect on what you learned.
Meeting with a Finnish teacher, 2 (45 minutes + learning diary)
You will now have an online meeting with a Finnish teacher of your class and discuss your experience teaching the Finnish students. The teacher will also share with you some experiences of the participating students. After the discussion, you will self-evaluate and reflect on your observations and learnings.
Meeting with a Finnish principal & graduation (45 minutes + learning diary)
You will have a live online meeting with a Finnish principal. You will briefly share your experiences in teaching a Finnish class and have the possibility to discuss the differences in the education systems.
The principal will “hand” you your graduation certificate, which will also be sent to you by email and post.
The price of the course depends on the number of participants and the final, customized program. Please contact for a quotation.
This six-month training option will support you in making changes in the teaching in your school by providing multiple learning experiences over six months. The main differences to the one-month option are:
The Finnish system supports life-long learning and “learning to learn”. Real change takes time, while the world around us keeps changing, too. During a full year virtual teacher-training program, you will notice that your thinking has genuinely changed and you are making an impact around you. You will become comfortable teaching Finnish students (or any international students, for that matter) online and know that you can adapt to different teaching situations in the future. The main differences to the six-months option are: