Team based learning and my school

The learning in the Finnish high school has previously had a strong focus on the individuals and the Matriculation Examination. Learning and teaching have both been lonely jobs. Today, there is a change towards more collaborative methods, but the change is slow.

In fall 2016 the schools in Finland started to work with the new core curriculum, and we were definitely taking a step into a new direction. The new core curriculum emphasizes co-operation, student-centered methods, problem-based approaches and the use of technology. But, the students are still too often educated into a system where they are told what to learn, how to learn and when to learn. I want to teach the students to take responsibility of their own studying as a way to become more aware of themselves as learners. I strongly believe that when students “own” their own learning, learning becomes more meaningful and interesting.

In my school, we have experimented with team-based learning (TBL) for four years. Our goal is to develop a learning environment, where the teachers more or less “coach” the students in their studies. We focus on personalized learning environments and we do it together. Teachers work as a team to plan, execute and assess learning. We use problem-based and phenomenon-based methods and students also work in teams.

Our next collaboratively planned unit for our freshmen class will start in two weeks (October 1st). In the unit we’ll combine 5 subjects: Two languages English and Finnish (students’ mother tongue), Social Studies, Sports and Student counselling. There are six teachers who plan, execute and assess the unit. I will write more about the planning and also the execution later on, so don’t forget to subscribe to get the new posts! If you are in Facebook, I’ll share there photos and videos from the unit so join my community there as well.

One of the first planning sessions last spring