For one week at the end of August, ten administrators and teachers from ISABC schools are travelling to Helsinki, Finland to explore the ‘best practices’ behind the Finnish education system’s phenomenon of success. Educators from Mulgrave, Collingwood, Shawnigan Lake, Fraser Academy, Queen Margaret’s, St Margaret’s and Stratford Hall will partake in a unique course offered by the University of Helsinki. The Teachers’ International Professional Development Programme (TIPD) was launched by the University of Helsinki, Palmenia Centre for Continuing Education in 2007. Since then it has given teachers and school leaders from around the world the opportunity to explore and to experience effective educational practices in Finland.
The essence of a TIPD study visit is that, following an initial briefing, educators from the group will visit Finnish educational authorities and schools to observe and discuss curriculum and methodology issues. Our BC educators will have an opportunity to speak with other teachers and administrators, and to visit at least two or three different schools. The group will meet key workers and engage in a review and assessment of the pedagogy and practice seen. Our visiting teachers may be asked to give presentations to the school hosts about their own school system or particular elements of the curriculum.
Our ISABC colleagues are specifically focused on bringing back what they learn to share with their colleagues. As well as giving presentations to their own school faculties, they aim to present a workshop for educators at a future ISABC Professional Development Day. Presentations will include video from visits to Finnish schools as well as materials which might to inspire us all to look at ways we might enhance our classroom practices.