Many of our international visitors are eager to learn about lesson planning: how we teach and assess our students in Finland. One of the key components is the alignment of learning objectives, teaching and assessment. The three elements address the same agenda and support each other. Sounds easy and logical but requires a lot of professionalism and planning.
Learning objectives are the key of the teaching and learning process: they define what is taught and what students should learn. Knowing the learning objectives, the students are able to focus their learning process on the objectives. Therefore, the objectives should be described openly for the students from the beginning.
Teaching should be planned according to the learning objectives. How are the students able to reach the objectives? What are the most suitable teaching methods to support their learning? Teachers continuously observe the students’ learning process. When needed, the teaching methods are changed. When doing lesson planning, it is worth remembering that positive atmosphere and joy of learning promotes students’ motivation and learning.
Teaching and learning are interactive processes. The students are encouraged to participate actively, to set their own learning objectives and to solve problems both independently and with others. Thus, the students learn to self-reflect their own learning process, experiences and feelings.
Assessment gives us information on how well the students have reached the learning objectives. Nevertheless, the assessment should measure not only the learning outcomes but also the learning process, motivation and personal development. In fact, a fundamental part of the assessment is to develop students’ self-assessment and analysis on their learning outcomes compared to the learning objectives. This is why the students should know the assessment criteria from the beginning.
Successful assessment takes into consideration the suitability of each assessment method for every student. If a student has difficulties in writing, a written exam should not be the only assessment method. The students are treated individually and not compared with each other. This normally surprises our international quests - how Finland has such a great PISA success if we do not have nationally wide exams during comprehensive school.
Lesson planning and many other topics will be discussed during KOULUgroup’s EduVenture event in September 2017. Learn more and join us at www.koulugroup.fi/eduventure. During the summer we publish blog articles related to Eduventure topics.
What if we defined work as problem-solving?
They say work is disappearing or at least massively changing because of technological advancement. Many organizations and individuals are struggling to find ways to adapt to rapid digitization with visions of the near future alternate between the dystopia of mass unemployment and the utopia of pure leisure. Could there be a third alternative? Could redefining the concepts that surround work and intelligent human action create new possibilities for value creation and meaningful human life?
What is work, why does it exist? What if we stopped equating work with jobs, employer-employee-relationships or titles and instead defined it as problem-solving?
Work exists because there are people with problems that need to be solved, needs that require fulfilling and questions that beckon answers. Importantly, work exists because humans as a species are social. We wish to be relevant and important to other people, we come together to attain what we cannot alone. Therefore, work will exist for as long as there are people with problems and questions on this earth. This means that work is certainly not disappearing and in fact at its core perpetual.
Working, however, meaning the ways in which the questions at the core of work are answered, and the problems generating work solved, keeps constantly changing and ever will. Why? Because ongoing social and technological development keep redefining what is intelligent human action.
Intelligent human action is always contextual and ultimately socially determined. It is not only the collection of cognitive skills we are able to employ in a given situation. Rather, intelligent action is the combination of three things:
1. human cognition and skill,
2. the tools we have at our disposal, and
3. the social attribution of meaning and value.
Whenever there is development in any of these areas, the definition of intelligence becomes redefined. And because of human nature, development is constant.
Humans are a tool-building species. Tools exist to complement our abilities, to help us go beyond what is “naturally” possible. The extent of our intellect is defined by what we can attain through broadening our capabilities, using the tools we have created. Tools can be regarded as inseparable from human cognition as the two continue to define the possibilities of one another.
Humans are also inherently social. Actions gain their significance and value in the eyes of others. Ultimately, it’s other people that define your success. Therefore, whether an action is intelligent of not, and what the best balance between human cognition and tool use is, is ultimately defined by the social context within which the action takes place. This means that it’s not always right to use the most advanced tool, and conversely, sometimes that’s exactly the way to produce the most value to others. As a banal example, for some shop-goers the most meaningful and valuable experience is to interact with a human being at the cash register. Others just quickly want out with no human contact. Two different needs, requiring different combinations of human cognition and technology and a good grasp on individuals needs in the context.
Now if work organizations wish to be smart, they need to consider all three dimensions of intelligent action in their business. This means that organizations need to understand
1. how to support and develop human cognition,
2. what are the best available tools, and
3. the meaning and value experienced as a result of the work.
Instead of considering each of these areas separately, the most important question is how to comprehend and enable the complementarity of the three. Failure to do so will lead to intelligence-inhibiting structures at work. Or, bluntly, stupid working.
The task is of course not easy. With all the talk about robots and digitization, many work organizations are focusing only on keeping up with the advancement of tools, often at the expense of the individual. How aware are work organizations of the diverse contexts in which value is experiencedof their products and services? How present are they in these situations? In terms of human cognition, how good are work organizations at supporting individuals in the use and development of the most important work skills?
And what are these skills, anyway?
In essence, the most valuable human work requires skills that cannot be modeled in AI, skills where humans still surpass the machine. These include things like learning, creative thinking, flexibility and contextual thought, and most importantly, most persistently, the skills that permit fruitful interaction, like empathy. (Of course not always! For instance, a hand-made piece of furniture requires manual skill that could be automated, but is more valuable when it is not)
But for the sake of the argument at play here, it could be summarized that most important human work skills require higher-order cognition.It may be that algorithms can in a sense be creative and are able to learn some things as efficiently as humans. Heck, even some parts of interaction can be automated. For instance, the recent exciting advances in machine vision show how algorithms are able to discern emotion-related micro expressions, at near-human accuracy.
However, there is an important distinction between humans and machines: the way that humans understand emotions requires a conscious self. The way that human creativity and learning is valuable is through the conscious, experiencing self. And, at least until and if AI becomes conscious and we have a new species with which to interact, humans will be needed for connecting on the level of consciousness, for empathy that is experiencing and modeling other’s experiences as one’s own.
So in sum, if work organizations wish to avoid working stupidly, in addition to making sure the best tools are available, and making sure they understand how their work creates value to others, it is necessary to support humans at what humans do, and are, best. The tasks that require humanness are the non-routine and cognitively demanding, the ones that require creativity, flexibility and connection to other humans.
So the big question is, do our work structures enable or inhibit humanness? How are the most valuable human skills nurtured by the traditional structures guiding our work such as roles, competency systems, and recruitment methods? How well do individuals take care of and cultivate their most important work assets?
Luckily, there is a lot of scientific knowledge available on how to ensure that these abilities and actions flourish. All that is needed is the willingness to keep learning.
In summary, the rapid development of our digital tools opens up new possibilities for the evolution of intelligent action at an astounding pace. It requires alertness, curiosity and a flexible learning mindset from work organizations to keep up with the change. Amidst technological learning, the human aspect is however often overlooked and the capacities that organizations have for understanding human cognition are subpar, even though it is precisely through humanness that people create most value. What is needed is better understanding of the complementarity of the human, the machine and the social, of the basis of intelligent human action. In any time, in the middle of any technological development, a human-centered approach is the key to stability and abundance.
Cognitive neuroscientist exploring the neural mechanisms behind empathy and fruitful interaction, particularly in digital environments
This blog post was originally published on Work Futures
Early Bird -tickets are available until 31st of May.
Here are 3+1 golden reasons why you should get yours as soon as possible!
Summer is wonderful – but oh, so short! The event is coming sooner than you think, so buy your ticket before getting on your holiday mood and make sure that you're part of an event everyone will talk about!
Early bird – but also a bold bird – catches the worm. Dare yourself and be among the first participants creating a new kind of global community!
You will get an excellent kickoff to Fall! Whether you are a teacher, working in human resources, student or otherwise just learning enthusiast, Dare to Learn is certainly going to provide you inspirational and useful experience full of passion.
And, of course, your wallet will thank you. As an early bird you will save a significant amount of money!
Tiedote 18.5.2017, Helsinki
Opiskelijoiden järjestämä “oppimisen Slush” kiihdyttää Suomesta oppimisen Piilakson. Suomalainen koulutusosaaminen on maailmanlaajuisesti tunnettua, mutta selkeä osaamiskeskittymä puuttuu, eivätkä oppimiskentän eri toimijat kohtaa. Kansainvälinen oppimistapahtuma Dare to Learn yhdistää 3000 oppimisen toimijaa opettajista yrityksiin.
Hankkeen taustalla on ajatus elinikäisen oppimisen raikastamisesta sekä itse oppimisen korostamisesta. ”Kaikki puhuvat elinikäisestä oppimisesta, mutta mitä oikeasti teemme sen edistämiseksi? Nyt meillä on tilaisuus rakentaa yhdessä aidosti oppimista tukevaa kulttuuria. Kyky oppia ja inhimillinen kehitys muuttaa maailmaa siinä missä teknologiakin – tai jopa vielä enemmän”, kertoo tapahtuman ohjelmapäällikkö Akseli Huhtanen.
Järjestäjien mukaan oppiminen nähdään usein muodollisena koulutuksena ja myös julkinen keskustelu pyörii usein ainoastaan koulutuspolitiikan ympärillä. Näiden vastapainoksi on tärkeää, että Suomeen luodaan paikka, jossa erilaiset toimijat opettajista henkilöstön kehittäjiin ja ammattiliitoista koulutusalan startupeihin voivat kohdata ja syventyä oppimiseen.
Syyskuussa Kaapelitehtaalle kokoontuu tuhansia oppimisintoilijoita kokemaan uudenlaisen tapahtuman, jonka sisältö on rakennettu tarkasti oppimistutkimuksiin perustuen: aktiivista ohjelmaa, aikaa omille ajatuksille ja inspiraatiota. Järjestäjät uskovat, että kävijöiden monimuotoisuudella, osallistavalla ohjelmalla ja sopivalla hulluudella tuotetaan parhaita tapahtumia, joiden vaikutus näkyy pitkällä tulevaisuudessakin. Tapahtuman yhteistyökumppaneina ovat muun muassa Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriö sekä Helsingin kaupunki.
+358 40 738 0164
Dare to Learn
Dare to Learn on 5.-6.9.2017 Helsingin Kaapelitehtaalla järjestettävä kansainvälinen oppimistapahtuma, joka kerää yhteen tuhansia oppimisintoilijoita opettajista henkilöstön kehittäjiin ja ammattiliitoista koulutusalan startupeihin. Kahden päivänä aikana osallistuja kuulee inspiroivia puheenvuoroja, osallistuu workshoppeihin ja kohtaa muita oppimisesta kiinnostuneita ihmisiä. Dare to Learnin taustalla toimii Sivistyskiihdyttämö ry.
SOOL is the Teacher Student Union of Finland and a national umbrella organization of all teacher students in Finland. On a daily basis we find ourselves craving and valuing learning. You could say that learning is what we do best. That is why we are very excited to co-operate with Dare to Learn to create the next big thing, the new great learning event.
The main thing about learning is to find the joy for it. You need to have the enthusiasm to learn before you can really open up for the comprehensive learning experience. When you’ve got the elation to learn new things, learning is a treasure that will follow you everywhere. In SOOL we think that a teacher has a great role when it comes to the joy of learning. A teacher can motivate and awaken the interest for exploring new things. A teacher can help one to find their passion for learning and motivate them to learn more. We think that a teacher is - more than anything - the contributor of learning.
In recent years there has been some discussion about new ways of learning. We are talking about new ways to arrange learning environments, to facilitate formal learning events and to guide learning processes. New learning is coming, that’s for sure. Learning is seen even more comprehensive than before. Learning is happening everywhere and all the time - not just in the classrooms. Still the new kind of learning has to change the way we learn in schools and kindergartens too. These new ways to learn need both a new environment and a new atmosphere. Digitalization offers new possibilities to organize learning. Phenomenon based learning offers great new possibilities to mix up the traditional subjects and critical thinking, and reading skills are seen more important than to know all the trivia. We still need teachers - actually more than ever.
New learning requires that we think about the role of a teacher in a new way. Education should build a basis for lifelong learning and it should be seen as a solution for ecological, economical and cultural problems. Thus a teacher is no longer an omniscient knowledge giver, but a supporting and motivating mentor of learning. Since the focus in the role of a teacher is changing, teacher education has to change too.
What kind of teacher education should we have in the future? If a teacher is a contributor on a way to find the joy of learning, what should teacher education be like? If a teacher is your mentor and supporter instead of an all-knowing lecturer, how should teacher education develop? If we started building new teacher education from the very beginning, how would it turn out to be like? These are the questions our workshop will try to find answers and solutions to at the great Dare to Learn -event in September. Dare to join us to envision the future of teacher education?
Noora Korhonen & Tarja Työläjärvi
Suomen Opettajaksi Opiskelevien Liitto SOOL ry
Teacher Student Union of Finland
Greatness of Dare to Learn lies in its community. Last week we offered a sneak peek to our spirit and upcoming event in Espoo.
Over 60 learning enthusiastics gathered to Otaniemi for one afternoon. First we heard two inspiring keynotes: Antti Kauppi shared his visions about the future of learning and Topi Litmanen from Claned made us wonder what is the role of artificial intelligence in learning. After the speeches we shared questions, ideas and solutions in small group sessions. Themes that sparked up bubbling discussion were collaborative learning, equality of learning, how to spark and keep up the motivation and what is the optimal division of labour in learning between the human brain & artificial intelligence.
For me, the best thing about our “Mini Dare” event was the atmosphere. People stayed after official part, chatting and mingling with old and new friends. With a little help of some sparkling, we managed to connect both people and ideas. I don’t know exactly which are the X factors for inspiring atmosphere. Speakers, facilitation, environment and servings of course did their part, but I believe the most important impact was created by people and their communication. For all of you being there - a big thank you!
Dare to Learn will create a unique community that no one has never seen before. Under our umbrella you will fail, learn and laugh. And we will do it all together.
Communication has a huge effect on learning. Communication is one of the main things we want to focus in our community and in our main event in September. We know that magic happens when people from different backgrounds trust each other, share their own ideas and are open to hear new views. Solutions for tomorrow's challenges can be solved the best by bridging gaps between different learning professionals and other curious future makers.
After 4 months we will scale this small afternoon “Mini Dare” experience into bigger and create a carefully designed, world’s best learning event. Some may say we dream big. I say thinking small never changed the world. Dare to Learn will create a unique community that no one has never seen before. Under our umbrella you will fail, learn and laugh. And we will do it all together. Only question is: do you dare to join us?
Head of Community & Volunteers
This mostly summarizes a dinner conversation I had with my father. Born in the 50s, now in his 60s, he represents a person who has over 40 years of experience of working, albeit from a fairly narrow field.
His career path, if viewed from the “old norms” of the 70s-80s would be seen as a dream: starting in a large company in a minor position, over 25 years of service and progressing to a senior position in the same company. His views of his path: “a safe choice, with not too much need to self-direct ones work. More an executor of tasks that are given from higher up in the command chain”.
Personally, I love project work and I am strongly driven by curiosity and interest, which have spearheaded me to nearly everything I do. Presently, my life revolves around a few different kinds of projects, some very social, but others more alone. I love a dynamic and fragmented worklife.
The contrast between these two opposing paths spurred our conversation onwards into the fact that technological layers will be replacing human layers at many workplaces, so the workers need to be able to quickly update their skill set to get back into the game. This is where the essentiality of being able to learn effectively comes in.
For people who are inherently curious and interest-driven, this might not be a big problem. They have their fuel for learning, and “being a learner” is even a part of their identity. They will learn weather you ask it from them or not. There is no separation between “working” and “learning” for this group. If you would ask them: “what do you do at work?” they would answer: “I learn, I apply and I evaluate.“
technological layers will be replacing human layers at many workplaces, so the workers need to be able to quickly update their skill set to get back into the game. This is where the essentiality of being able to learn effectively comes in.
Then there is the group who view “work” as “work”. Work is something that should be done to get food on the table and that has nothing to do with ones interests. Sometimes it can be that their true interest and passion is totally elsewhere and that is fine if it is a conscious choice. In this new age of never-before-seen fast upskilling I am most worried about the group who has no work-related interests whatsoever. They view work as a heavy burden and their self-efficacy believed plummet if they get replaced by tech or other workers.
The ability to cultivate interest and use it to focus on learning something new, makes learning so much more enjoyable. If you can give meaning to what you are learning and the knowledge in focus is relevantly aligned with your representation of future-you, then you are in a lucky position. How many employers are aware of their workers interests or future dreams?
We need to change the representation that the word “work” has in our minds. My hope is that we will all work towards a world of interest-driven working and learning. Working is learning and learning is working. A shift on all levels is necessary: from individuals to groups, public to private sectors and all levels of society.
Looking forward to working on this with you at Dare To Learn in September!
Every event is made by somebody and Dare to Learn is no exception. In this blog post I will tell you a little more about our lovely and energetic team and how we work together. So, there are currently about 40 daring people working with this project and most of them volunteers. An average team member is 20-something, either studying or a recent graduate. We operate under a non-profit organization called Sivistyskiihdyttämö (in English “Education accelerator”) and share the same interest in learning even though we come from diverse backgrounds. There are naturally education professionals, teachers and teacher students among us but also marketing and communication specialists and even a couple of engineering students like me.
We practice what we preach, meaning that the journey to the actual event is a learning experience for us all and we try exploit it as well as we can. Honestly, it is very hard to avoid learning because we do things we have never done before every day. For example yesterday we discussed how to operate the one hour lunch break in our event so that every participant can fill their stomach with excellent food without too much hustle. That’s something we can’t model beforehand but we can prepare for possible scenarios and see what happens in the event. The creative process is seldom straightforward and sometimes we need to get back to the starting point and make big changes.
We practice what we preach, meaning that the journey to the actual event is a learning experience for us.
We try to benchmark all the best practices and learn from people who have organized big events before, but it is possible to do that only until certain limit. The uniqueness of our beloved Dare to Learn comes from the combination of things that nobody else has done before and that means creating program, partnerships and communication through trial and error. It’s not always uplifting to learn things the hard way but when looking back to last year when we started it’s worth seeing the progress we’ve made so far. That’s what I call learning.
We share the learning experiences and our daily life in Instagram @daretolearnhki. If you get inspired by our story and what we actually don’t hesitate to contact any team member: we warmly welcome you to join our team and learn with us.
Head of Partnerships
Dare to Learn is a two-day learning event for learning explorers. We bring together game changers and enthusiasts to create the new world of lifelong learning. Only curiosity is required.
By saying we’re a learning event like no other, it is fair to start with defining ’the other’. So: we are not a commercial expo, nor a conference as usual. We think that if you need some specific information, you should go to a specific training or read a book. What is worth bringing busy people together, however, is the magic that happens between different people. In that space, lie inspiration and seeds for growth. We need to get truly shaked every once in a while so that we don’t fall into stagnation, personal or professional! That is why we have the ’pie model’ - the biggest portion of our program is co-creation and active participation. Only 20% is spent listening to our tremendous keynotes. They’re amazing, but they alone don’t make you change.
To put it simply: our event is all about shaking your thinking of learning and human development with other wild minds, in an engaging environment.
So, who is this ’learning explorer’ we’re reaching, then? Eventually, this is up to you to define. We don’t ask titles or measure your level of enthusiasm in the check-in. But for us, being very proudly learning explorers ourselves, it means someone who
1) embraces learning in its diverse forms,
2) educates oneself constantly on the topic, especially related to future of learning, and
3) wants to share one’s ideas with others.
To put it simply: our event is all about shaking your thinking of learning and human development with other wild minds, in an engaging environment.
I might guess that there will be people who call themselves, for example, teachers, trainers, HR and HRD professionals, higher education students, politicians, psychologists, career coaches, consultants, researchers or something entirely else. Our principle is that we don’t try to attract people by their profession or degree, but by their urge to learn more about learning and to meet people who share the same passion, but maybe from a different angle.
This, of course, leads to a question of the event themes. If it’s a learning event ’for all the enthusiasts’, doesn’t it get all muddy and non-targeted? Compared to traditional turn-key trainings, we probably won’t serve quick answers to job-specific questions. Sorry! Daily challenges are crucial but we think there are already many events tackling these specific issues. Our cup of tea is rather different. We think that to conquer daily challenges (and the world!), you need sometimes a great rush of untamed inspiration
What we offer is thinking big and beyond boxes, laughing hard, discussing deep, and creating new. Always with a little twist: something you didn’t think of coming up with. The program consists of five tracks intriguing and relevant for developing learning: leading a learning community, learning mindset, learning design, personalised learning, and recognising competence. The themes are two-fold. They can be used to nourish your own personal growth (which is where all the change starts!) and to support learning of others, such as your pupils or employees.
Me and our team of over 30 people - mostly amazing volunteers - think that Dare to Learn is something this world truly needs. Having said that, creating something new is always a crazy ride: you never know exactly know what’s behind the next corner. We give you a lift - dare to join us?