Edukata was piloted in numerous schools in Finland. Recently I was in the closing seminar in Oulu, Finland, talking about Edukata and – most importantly – talking with the teachers who had piloted Learning Activities designed by our team, and also designed their own, using a beta version of Edukata.
Two comments by piloting teachers really stuck with me. I’ll rephrase them without naming names.
One teacher, over dinner, told me how he’s been a teacher for 8 years already, doing his work, but maybe not being very inspired by it. After participating in iTEC pilots and implementing novel Learning Activities, he said his whole understanding of the role of the teacher has changed completely. He now sees a vastly larger horizon, endless possibilities, and is really enthused to work with his students in different ways.
Two teachers from a small rural school told, over beers, how their piloting activities have changed the whole school. The school has just 16 teachers, and the example of two (with the support of their headmaster) has within a year changed everyone’s outlook on teaching and education. Everyone is now onboard, and nothing is standing in their way. They’re changing school practices, schedules, teacher collaboration, and reaching outside the school walls. They’ve become the pride of their community, the small school that is taking big strides.
It’s evidence like this that makes me humble. The design work our team has done over 4 years in the iTEC project certainly has not been “just another project”, but we’re seeing breakthroughs happening at the grassroots level. Exactly as we wanted. Now if only countries around Europe and the world could also add some top-down support for this change, and we have a whole new school culture in just a few years.
There’s no need to wait for the old generation of teachers to retire. They are valuable assets and keen on becoming better teachers, if only given some pointers, and collegial support.