Modern Methodologies in Teaching week: Respect of teacher profession & honesty as key values from Finland

From left to right: Rodolfo Avila de Carvalho (student interpreter), José Luiz Pereira Junior (Junior State Deputy), Carita Prokki, Virpi Heinonen, Erna Augusta Denzin (teacher at IFTO), Maria Joaquina Barbosa Goulart (teacher at UFT) standing next to each other.
Picture 1: Round-table discussion "Finnish Education and Active Learning". Federal University of the Tocantins - Palmas. From left to right: Rodolfo Avila de Carvalho (student interpreter), José Luiz Pereira Junior (Junior State Deputy), Carita Prokki, Virpi Heinonen, Erna Augusta Denzin (teacher at IFTO), Maria Joaquina Barbosa Goulart (teacher at UFT).

Carita Prokki and Virpi Heinonen from Tampere University of Applied Sciences received an invitation to Tocantins, Brazil, from TAMK alumna Erna Denzil to be part of the Modern Methodologies in Teaching week organised in the last week of February in the campuses of Instituto Federal of Tocantins (IFTO) in Palmas and Paraiso as well as in Federal University of Tocantins campus Palmas.

The week consisted of conference lectures with teachers, educational leaders and local authorities and workshops in different campuses with teachers. We had excellent conversation about new initiatives in teacher education with the local ministry of education in Tocantins.

Our trip showed clearly how the joy of Finnish education is spreading in Brazil by our alumni Erna Denzin, Marcos Balduino, and Thiago Pereira, who had studied in the VET-Teachers for the Future Programme at TAMK. Various years of long-term work particularly in the field of active leaning methods and collaborative work is starting give fruits and local impact.

We asked Erna and Marcos if they could share with us how the experience and training in Finland impacted their teaching in Brazil and if they have been sharing and multiplying their know-how once back home.

Erna says that especially the methods of practice within the classroom are now different. The way of teaching the class has changed a lot. She has been giving many trainings, both in the public and in the private network. She also gives a lecture named: “Tropicalizing the Finnish model of education”, which is discussing about the forms of adaptations. Erna also wrote about her experience in a publication “Samba and Sauna: The Implementation of Innovative Participatory Pedagogies by Brazilian Educators”.

Marcos says that the experience in Finland brought him much more than knowledge of a series of techniques applied to education. It brought an enormous desire to do things differently, without the fear that keeps our hands tied. Finnish educational techniques can be learned without crossing geographic borders, but it would be difficult to absorb the strong feeling that emanates from Finnish educators. It makes a big difference, he affirms.

Upon returning from Finland, Marcos visited all the course coordinators and administrative staff, giving each professor on campus a brief presentation about education in Finland, to assess how many people were interested in the trainings planned at that time. Then, in partnership with Professor Ana Jaimile Cunha (another TAMK alumna), training was carried out for teachers from Campus Palmas, Campus Gurupi and teachers from the municipal public school system.

Marcos and Ana Jaimile also participated in several lectures and in the elaboration of a chapter of the book “Brazil Meets Finland – Experiencias em Metodologias Centradas no Estudante Baseadas em Práticas Finlandesas”, where the actions carried out in Tocantins were described more in detail.

Virpi Heinonen, Marcos Balduino and Carita Prokki standing next to eache other.
Virpi Heinonen, Marcos Balduino and Carita Prokki were happy to meet again after 8 years.

If Erna and Marcos could bring something from Finland to Brazil, those would be the respect with which education and teachers are treated and the quality of life as well as the culture of honesty that makes life easier and is a value to be cultivated in Brazil.


Text: Virpi Heinonen and Carita Prokki

Picture 1: Archive of UFT Press

Picture 2: Marcos Balduino

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