Intensive course 2018
The new course, Comparative aspects of social justice and inclusive education in a diverse or multicultural learning environment in Baltic-Nordic Countries (CASIDME), will focus on one of today’s important issues, increased diversity in society, partly a result of the recently increased number of refugees and new challenges for schools to ensure equity and quality in education in all countries, according to the context of the Incheon Declaration of Education (2015). The course includes theoretical aspects and practical aspects as well as exchange and share of good practices (visits to schools with many immigrants and educational institutions and pupil/teacher interaction).
Development of 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.
Acquire deeper knowledge, understanding and competence of identifying and managing diversity in schools by exploring and sharing appropriate methods of teaching and learning, cooperating and collaborating with different stakeholders.
Provide opportunity for students to compare educational systems, schools and social justice situations and practices in the Nordic-Baltic countries. Provide opportunity for students to study and cooperate in an international environment, application of these skills to different school contexts.
Create an inclusive culture and environment within the course and thus promotion of the overall development of teacher trainees’ professional identity in democratic societies.
Expected learning outcomes
Student’s increased knowledge and understanding of:
- social justice in different educational settings, with a focus on inclusion of minority groups, for instance newly arrived pupils
- methods of identifying and managing diversity and leadership
- educational social justice in Nordic-Baltic countries
Students should be able to:
- put into practice the experiences of using different methods to create inclusive culture and environment in educational settings
- communicate and cooperate more freely in an international environment (face-to-face, technology-enhanced learning) and apply these skills to different school contexts
- demonstrate professional identity as teachers in democratic societies
- reflect didactically and be prepared for teaching and learning in a time where transformative capabilities will be necessary for teachers and future generations.
Impact on educational and relational settings
Direct: Knowledge and experience of current issues in social justice, diversity;
Indirect: More awareness of appropriate learning environment for pupils in different settings; Qualified support from teachers for parents for solving problems on equity and social justice; Creating awareness of communities to identify such problems.
Social justice as didactical challenge; identification and managing of diversity in education with focus on inclusion and social justice; the methods used are built on collaborative learning, combination of theory and practice, blended learning including ICT tools. School visits are important means to balance theory and practice, providing material for field studies within a Nordic and a Baltic country (FI and LT). 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).
Organization and implementation
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 (cf. attached program), 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. CASIDME aims at challenging the traditional understanding of why, what, who and how one can learn.
The course is organized in three parts
Part 1 (Vytautas Magnus University, LT, week 39): Introduction to course content, goals and organization, social learning activities and structures setting the scene for social justice among the participants, and also school visits. (See attached schedule).
Part 2: Online learning (home country 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 (University of Helsinki, FI, week 45): Students’ workshops, school visits, evaluation and assessment (See attached schedule) 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.
Dissemination will be carried out during the whole project. The results and the experiences of the course will be shared among the partner institutions. In the dissemination process students will:
- share knowledge gained by attending the lectures and experiences of social learning; pedagogical and didactical aspects of learning in Nordic and Baltic countries;
- deepen their understanding and be introduced to the comparative aspects “What are the differences and the similarities between these countries?” through experience and knowledge gained during the school visits;
- share the provided material during the course with others in their home institutions and classes, for example group work process, inclusion, social justice;
- upload to an Internet platform, for example NNTE web page, Institutional web pages, Facebook, Wiki, etc. together with teachers and coordinator
- share experiences with peers and encourage student exchange, as well as an understanding of Baltic-Nordic societies (e.g. presentation of experiences in classrooms, student meetings);
- bring awareness of the course topic to schools – during and after the course – and implement it in schools as a result of the visits to schools in Nordic and Baltic countries during the course.
In the dissemination process lecturers will
- share experiences of the CASIDME course in their home institutions with students and faculty;
- ensure that the course also provides benefits for a life-long learning process for participating lecturers;
- produce and distribute course material which consists of lectures, research publications and course syllabus.
The institutional dissemination process: the international coordinator at the home institution will support dissemination in all possible ways; the network's web page provides access for everybody to all material produced during the course: a) Lecturers’ material on the main topics of CASIDME course. b) Students’ course portfolio during all courses including the whole period: first week, in between 5 weeks, the second week. c) The bibliography for additional readings. d) Evaluations, procedures and product.
Each project partner will be responsible for local dissemination activities
a) Each participating partner will share the link of the Nordplus web page on their home institutional websites,
b) Partners will share short informational knowledge about the whole project idea and the expected results;
c) Close cooperation between partner institutions as a setting for the possibility of developing further educational programs recognized by the participating institutions.This will serve as a model when integrating an exchange within educational programmes at the home institution as well as between institutions/partner based on knowledge of each other’s educational context (cf. "mobility windows" for international strategy);
d) Broad use of established local, national and international channels.