Intensive Courses in the NNTE-network

NNTE partners in Scandinavia and the Baltic countries have successfully cooperated since 2009. Cooperating partners are: Vytautas Magnus University (LT), University of Helsinki (FI), Uppsala University (SE), Oslo Metropolitan University (NO), Akureyri University (IS), University of Latvia (LV) and Tartu University (EE). 

The aim of the intensive course is to development students’ new knowledge, understanding and competence of managing diversity in education with a focus on social justice and equal rights in a democratic society from a comparative perspective. 
This is a 5-ECTS course recognized by all partners and can be included in the students’ degree (e.g. optional or compulsory courses; written projects; practice).
Four students and one teacher participate from each country. Lecturers take an active part in organizing, developing and hosting the course. Students represent various fields of teacher education. Collaborative methods include panel discussions, group works and co-teaching. Group processes, as content and active learning, will involve all participants. Each lecturer has an area of expertise, related to the course topic, but co-teaching models will be implemented to share and contribute to other teachers’ topics. 

The 5-ECTS course is completed through blended learning during five virtual weeks framed by two weeks on site in two different countries. This framework is aimed at improving knowledge of the social justice situation in the Baltic-Nordic region. Students will visit schools or other educational settings in one Baltic and one Nordic country and gain practical experience of the social justice situation in schools. They will have chances to meet experts in the field and thereafter share their experience and knowledge with each other. Students will work in international groups focusing on the groups’ own learning process. Students have to prepare a workshop in an international group. The workshops deal with topics related to social justice as, for example, multicultural education, gender issues, anti-oppressive education, refugee-education, differentiation, diversity, equality, and equity. Each group will plan and carry out a workshop for a defined group of learners, present their didactic considerations related to theories and best practices according to the aims of their topic. The students’ tasks include planning, performing, and evaluating their workshop, as well as participating as learners in other workshops and providing feedback to others. 
The intensive course aims at challenging the traditional understanding of why, what, who and how one can learn. 

The course is organized in three parts: 

Part 1, (week 39) in a Baltic country.
 
Part 2: Online learning (weeks 40-44): Group work with online communication, and evaluation at the end of Part 2. Students will discuss the outcomes of Part 1 and develop further their own workshop plans and implementation of their chosen topic. To facilitate the online period a platform (Moodle) is provided, as well as three online assignments to advance the progress of the workshops. The students may include other interactive web-tools. The lecturers will supervise and engage in discussions and provide feedback to students. 

Part 3  (week 45) in a Nordic country: Students’ workshops, school visits, evaluation and assessment. Students’ tasks: reading an article before the course; presentation of the educational system of their own country before the course; preparing and organizing a workshop; attending all activities; supporting and promoting peer learning, portfolio; evaluations; Teachers’ tasks (see attached schedule and lecture 1 to lecture 5): Group work; organizing the working groups and social learning activities; Panel discussion; supervision (face-to-face and online period) and provide feedback to the students throughout the course. Evaluation of learning outcomes: - formative assessment is provided continuously throughout the two weeks and online learning period as feedback from teachers - self-assessment (students) takes place in informal discussions between students and teachers - peer-assessment during group work and after presentations - summative assessment (pass/fail) includes: a) the presentation of the workshop and b) a portfolio (including teaching plan/material, didactical reflections) to meet criteria for the learning outcomes.