Jyri Wuorisalo, RDI Adviser in Human Security and Climate Security at Savonia University of applied science presented the vision of Savonia about climate security.
The awareness is increasing that humanity stands at a crossroads with regard to the legacy we wish to leave to future generations. Now is time to reform the story of mankind by creating a link between civilization and sustainable development. Other wise we will be we are swamped by some very big waves: the effects of COVID is small compared to climate change and the collapse of biodiversity. Just look at the IPCC report about climate change 2022 and there is only one conclusion possible: we have to act now!
Savonia’s strategy 2021-2030 is in line with this urgency. They want to be the most socially responsible and influential university of applied sciences through
co-development in education and RDI-activities,
maintaining a network and hub enhancing the competence network of business,
renewing their expertise through international activities,
being meaningful and productive and
taking care of the Students’ wellbeing by supporting the growth of tomorrow’s professionals.
This strategy is realised through cooperation in several networks. For example the Human Security network in which human protection and empowerment are the main goals, the SDG are the central focus and the principles to leave no one behind and do no harm are important. Another example is regional cooperation in which partners are working together on a roadmap to a carbon neutral Pohjois-Savo region.
Cooperation in national and international projects is also important for their strategy. PROGRESS is a good example of such a project in which partners learn together to grow towards a future proof sustainable school that is attractive for students.
Climate security is also implemented in the curriculum with a Master’s degree diploma Climate security with the following subjects: Climate security essentials, Health, Technology and Agriculture.
Are you interested in the PowerPoint upon which this blog pots is based? You can open it through this link.
Senior Lecturer in Business Economics and E-learning expert Hannu Viitala at Savonia university in Finland inspired the PROGRESS-parteners with his inspiration ideas and good practices in the field of E-learning.
Savonia teachers use all kinds of online tools during their lessons and COVID naturally enhanced their use but teachers were already used of using them. Tools like Microsoft teams, Moodle, Padlet, Exam and much more. But the pedagogy the teacher uses using these tools is far more important. It is not only about online learning but hybrid blended learning in which face-to-face learning is combined with online learning. At Savonia every class is a hybrid class.
Online learning is important for students and teachers. For students online tools are reasonable, motivational and practical that will also be important for their working life. Online tools make life easier for teachers and improve the quality of teaching. Working life need employees who are willing and able to learn new things!
All Savonia courses are available in Moodle and teachers are trained to develop the courses by themselves. The analytics functions of Moodle are used to evaluate and improve the course. That is the normal way of doing things at Savonia. To make it more attractive students also have entrance to a video lecture library.
Are you interested in the PowerPoint upon which this blog pots is based? You can open it through this link.
The Whole School Approach to sustainable development contains different fields of change that should be addressed to grow as a sustainable school. Professional development is one of these and this was the central focus of our project meeting in Finland last June.
As introduction Hilda Weges from the Dutch partner INTREEGUE presented some inspirational ideas and good practices of professionalization of Dutch VET-schools. Her main message: teachers should not only present and tell about sustainable practices but also need to act and show it themselves in their own behaviour. And that is why professionalisation of teachers and practice coaches is so important! They don’t learn it by themselves.
To realise the Sustainable goals also means that we have to change our behaviour. New competences and skills are therefor needed to realise these goals. The partners of In the European Inner Development Goals project have thought about these new skills. In this Inner Development Goals film you will learn more about these goals.
VET-schools in the Netherlands have different kinds of strategies and organise all kinds of activities to teach their teachers these new kind of skills and let them learn about sustainability and latest developments at the labour market.
First of all it is important as school to develop a vision and strategy about professional development of teachers and practical coaches to make sure that these activities are not short term projects but really imbedded in the school organisation and planning.
In line with the vision and strategy schools can think of the following actions and measures:
Set up a Manifest Sustainable Knowledge Sharing in which the principles for sustainable development and sharing of knowledge are described.
Set up a professionalization cycle: intake training needs, discussing interim results and adjustment on the way.
Set up an online expert platform where teacher can share knowledge and ideas. E.g through Microsoft Teams, LinkedInn or….
Add ‘Learning for sustainable development’, the SDGs, the Inner Development Goals into your professional development program and make them compulsory for new teachers.
Set up an intervision group with professionals, managers, or other employees who share a common challenge or problem and find solutions together.
Encourage teachers to participate in symposia, workshops and masterclasses in sustainability that are offered by third parties.
This meeting in Ilesanmi in Finland from 7 till June 9 2022 was all about knowledge sharing about the education vision and strategy of Savonia Univeristy of Applied Sciences and their professionalisation approach.
June 7, 2022
During the fist day of the meeting we are welcomed in Iisalmi at the Savonia university of applied sciences by Petri Kainulainen with a presentation of the university. The university got the award Great Place to Work (2019 – 2023) because 91% of the students found a job after their study at this university. The university itself determines the curriculum. Jobs they train for in the agricultural sector are livestock farmer, herd manager, consultant, project managers, teacher in agro business and agricultural management. The Food Business area focuses on primary production, food processing, catering and gastronomic tourism. The university works a lot with innovative and intersectoral projects, for example a combination of agriculture and technology. This is also their most important strategy to professionalize teachers.
We proceed with a presentation from Hannu Vitala, e-learning expert with the online attendants Jolet Dingen (Terra), Lotte Skjaerbaek (Jordbrugets) en Nadine Pfennings (Yuverta). He pleads for more use of internet resources. He introduced ‘micro-learning’. A sort of appetizers: a slight taste of what the learner can learn when he/she will follow that course/training. These micro-learning units can be used very well in the recruitment of new students, also via podcasts. When asked whether there is an ideal division in your lesson of virtual or physical, Hannu indicates that there is none. However, it is very important that you create an atmosphere that makes the student feel as if he is actually in the classroom. Examples of tools that Hannu uses: Padlet, Peppi and many others. All those tools are ‘single-on’ systems: only a login is required. One needs good pedagogy then you don’t need many tools.
When asked how to get the teachers to use the tools, Hannu gives the following tips: time, money, updates, motivation. Make it easier for your fellow teachers to apply e-learning, help them!
Finalizing the first day Hilda Weges from the Netherlands talkes about the sustainable development goals and the role of teachers and students their competence to realise these goals. She stresses that professionalisation of teachers is important because they are role models: they need to act sustainable and not only present sustainable knowledge to their students. Therefore we have to keep in mind the importance of inner development goals.
June 8, 2022
Hilkka Kamarainen and her colleague Inka start the second day with a presentation of the agro and forestry education in Finland and the competences needed by farmers.
Yiry Wuorisalo (RD advisor, international relations officer, human and climate security at Savonia University in Kuopio) is our next speaker about the new course ‘climate security’ in which teaching and learning for a sustainable future is the main goal. They focus on SDG numbers 2, 7, 16 and 6 in this training.
After a short break, Inka provides a workshop: what are our future challenges? How circular economy and sustainability can help us to adapt the future. In a Padlet exercise, each partner writes down his/her ideas. The ideas are being categorised: blue – attitude, mind set; rose – food, demands of the consumers; yellow – climate changes; purple – soil.
During the discussion it became clear that people are a bit tired by the word sustainability. It would perhaps be better to talk about quality of life instead of sustainability. We need people doing something, not only spectators.
The last part of this day was used for a farm visit where students of Savonia university show us around and Inka learns us a lot about her research regarding soil and the role and function of worms.
June 9, 2022
We leave for Kuopio in the morning to be welcomed at the other location of Savonia University by the head International Projects. The vision of the university: to be the most socially responsible and influential university.
Harri Auvinen tells us about the international HOOP project about bio and circular economy. Cities like Murcia, Almere, Kuopio, joining HOOP, make bio based products from urban bio-waste and wastewater (urban circular bio economy initiatives).
After lunch, an Albanian teacher, also visiting Savonia, tells us about their professionalization of staff. Listen to the podcast on the website. Interesting!
We proceed with discussing the things we have learned during our visit and the professionalization tactics in the different partner countries.
In Finland Students learn mainly from teachers, work based learning, trainers, parents, friends and role models. Teachers teach the basics, create a path, stimulate and motivate the students. Teachers learn mainly from each other, the students, the environment and innovative projects. They attend seminars, lectures to keep themselves updated. They exchange knowledge and experiences with colleagues. They do pair teaching which is easier to do in Higher Education than in VET because of their flexible time tables. They receive feedback from their students and based on this, a development interview is held with the manager.
In Spain, training is being organised by a centre and all teachers can attend the courses they want. But… teachers are not all motivated any longer and don’t show.
Yuverta in the Netherlands has its own academy to train teachers. Staff with certain knowledge or skills, are invited to share this with their colleagues. They do that digitally or physical during lunch time so everybody is able to attend. When a fellow worker has a question, the academy develops a training about this question.
But, what does professionalization have to do with attracting new students? There is a direct link: innovations are attractive. Teachers should show what they do on social media! Advertise yourself as a teacher!