Written By Kimmo Kumpulainen, Founder of SkillzzUp and Polar Partners

During my two week journey in British Columbia, Canada and my speech at PMI Vancouver Island Chapter -seminar showed me that Finland and BC-Canada have a lot in common in our Educational aspirations:

  • We have both adopted modern curriculums including a lot of 21st century life skills (team work, communication, problem solving).
  • We are teaching new skills like coding, maker skills and entrepreneurial attitude and skills at different educational levels.
  • We are both going further away from just rote learning and standardized testing, towards competency based and formative assessment.
  • Schools are adopting new ways of learning i.e. by doing more projects and co-operating with the surrounding society.
  • Teachers are autonomous.
  • Students are supported on individual level.

We also have a lot of the same challenges:

  • Individual schools & teachers are trying to solve by themselves, how to teach, report and assess competency based skills.
  • How to prevent a too wide gap between the low and high performing students?
  • How to help parents understand the benefits of new teaching and assessment methods? Many parents are still requiring more testing based only on nostalgic memories and disregarding numerous research showing the inefficiency and even destructive nature of overwhelming standardized testing.
  • How to support teachers to adopt new technology and to use it in a pedagogically effective way?
  • Where to find the time and money for teacher training? What part of the training should be done during working hours and which skills should everyone update on their own time? How to make sure all teachers are up to par with modern requirements?

I also learned there are a lot of similar development projects in Finland and Canada. I will do my part in bridging these two aspirational countries together by connecting great thinkers from both countries together.

A special thank you to all the Canadian Educational experts which I had the pleasure to talk with: Dave Byng, Ramona Soares, Mario Miniaci, Eleanor Liddy, Monique Brewer, JordanPerrault, Deyanira Mendoza Dominguez, Brian Mendoza Dominguez and many others that I had the pleasure to exchange ideas with.

There is a lot we can do and learn together!