Less teaching, more learning

Hungarian Andrássy Gyula High School visited Norssi School in Jyväskylä – organized by Experience Workshop

10 students and 6 teachers from the Andrássy Gyula High School in Békéscsaba (Hungary) realised their Erasmus+ group mobility in Jyväskylä. Regarding job shadowing and student group mobilities, their host school was the Normaalikoulu, Jyväskylä University’s practice school – aka Norssi. The week-long study tour and the related teacher training programme was designed and organised by Experience Workshop.

Teacher training and job shadowing

During their job shadowing days, Hungarian teachers exchanged thoughts with their Finnish colleagues, and got to know the Finnish school system. They also participated in an international teacher training which highlighted student-centered education, project-based learning on the one hand and the Finnish school system on the other. Trainers were Kristof Fenyvesi and Matias Kaukolinna. Due to this Hungarian teachers also had the opportunity to exchange ideas on Romanian educational practices.

Thanks to their job shadowing practice and professional training, the teachers of the Andrássy school have seen approaches on how to integrate sustainability into the curriculum and how to relate it to active citizenship, social and individual responsibility. Responsibility also plays a key role in the design of learning processes. One of the participants commented: “I have realised that the lessons should not be about a lot of teaching but a lot of learning“.

Meanwhile the students…

… participated in everyday Finnish school life. Norssi teacher and university lecturer Pirjo Pollari welcomed them as a mentor, but she was not the only guide helping Hungarian students. A lot if Finnish students volunteered to make the visitors’ stay as pleasant and useful as possible.

In addition to the usual lessons, Hungarian students particularly enjoyed taking part in psychology and philosophy classes and getting involved in practical activities such as home economics. On their last day they baked wonderful chocolate chip cookies.

University tour with Ambassador

Kristóf Fenyvesi, the STEAM director of Experience Workshop, took the teacher group to a visit at the university and an international conference there. At the university they met the Hungarian ambassador Klára Breuer, who was delighted to meet Hungarians in Jyväskylä (see a video about the visit here).

The ambassador even did them the honour of visiting them in the Norssi school.

STEAM as the best project-based learning tool

As STEAM methodology is an excellent approach to project-based and student-centered teaching and learning, participants got involved into hands-on experiences. They participated in a STEAM workshop held in Jväskylä’s coworking space Crazy Town. Moreover, they even had the opportunity to build the huge Warka Water tower at Norssi in collaboration with teacher Hannu Moilanen and his students.

Do you know what “tanssitunti” means?

On the last day, it was not anymore the Hungarian students attending the Finnish classes, but the other way around. They offered to teach the basic steps of Hungarian folk dance to Finnish students. Thanks to the well-planned advertising (even a poster was made) a lot of enthusiastic students participated in the event, and even more were watching or trying the steps in small groups. When they danced, they formed a huge circle in the school yard. Watch the short video of the event which is available on the site of the Embassy of Hungary here.

Finns learned to dance in Hungarian, and Hungarians learned how to say “dance lesson” in Finnish, as their poster “tanssitunti” proclaimed.

All participants agreed that this week would be a memorable experience for Finns and Hungarians alike.

Feedback by students

The most exciting experience was the Hungarian folk dancing event in Norssi. It was great how many students came out and were interested in it.

I enjoyed every moment that I spent at school, on trips and all the freetime activities.

I have learnt that you can enjoy and learn maths with arts.

The school was really modern, and students and teachers use a minimal amount of books.

It was interesting to see the fact that all the Finnish students are hard-working, and school is important to them.

We’ve made lots of friends that we kept in contact with and will do so for longer on the internet.

Most interesting was that students can put together their own schedule.

I learned that the Finnish wonder didn’t happen due to lucky “accidents”, it happened because the Finns have such a strong mindset, which is called the sisu.

The mobility has really changed my perspective on some things. It made me want to improve as a person, when it comes to my habits and mindset.

I would just like to say that I am forever grateful for this opportunity.

Feedback by teachers

I have learnt some tips how to reduce my negative impact on the environment.

Most interesting was observing different lessons in the school, discussing them with the Finnish colleagues.

My self-knowledge, cooperative skills and management skills have definitely developed.

I have gained a lot of experience in the concept of STEAM, different forms/ways of teaching my subjects and also in healthy, non-meat diet.

I have learnt that you don’t have to over-control students, you have to give them more freedom, everything works anyway.

Sustainability is everywhere, in every moment of Finnish people’s life.

I became familiar with different aspects of sustainability and how great emphasis is put on it in the school currriculum.

I have realised that the lessons should not be about a lot of teaching but a lot of learning.

The time we spent with your team is so precious and heart-warming that it’ll stay with us, no doubt.

Photo credits: Nóra Somlyódy, Kristóf Fenyvesi, Matias Kaukolinna

The student group mobility, the teacher trainings and the job shadowing mobilities were realized in the frameworks of the Erasmus+ KA122 programme.

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