Ella Mustonen reporting:
We had a collaborative study period in our school in October – November 2017. The period was very different than usual! Our first year students – excluding sports academy students – took part in this period. So we had about 140 people taking part in this period. We were divided into teams of about four-six people.
We studied five school subjects in this period: geography, chemistry, psychology, English and Finnish. We had one lesson per subject in the beginning of the week. After these lessons we got our weekly assignment, which was different each week. For example, we created a play about people’s basic psychological motives, and we filmed a newscast about a natural disaster that had happened.
– The teachers were excited and willing to experiment with the pedagogical methods. Some anxiety was felt over how a new kind of unit like the one we had planned would be met by the students, Turunen says.
Inka Kokkonen, a Finnish teacher also took part in this period. Kokkonen thinks that in the beginning students were really surprised. When the period started, there were some negative thoughts. It was difficult to make students see the point.
– Some students understood the benefits of this period, Kokkonen says.
– First I thought that this is not going to go well. But in the end the period became more fun because I got to know more people, she says.
Feodoroff thinks that it was a shame that we didn’t study the subjects as thoroughly as normally. The way of learning was really different than usually!
Kokkonen undertands this.
– I know that some students think that the best way to learn is the way how they have always learnt.
Kokkonen, Turunen and other teachers really encouraged us to give this different learning method a chance. They encouraged us to try if we can achieve better results when we work as a team.
This was the first time when we had this special period in Klassikka. This experiment gave precious knowledge to teachers. Which things managed well? What do they need to do in a different way next time?
I personally think that this period was a good experience. I admit that it sometimes made me stressed. Everything was new and different. There were a few things which must be done in some other way next time. But there were also good things. For example, our teamwork skills developed. And that was the idea of this period.
So, well done students and teachers.