ViSuAL project at the Teacher Education Forum (Finland)
“The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture organized a forum on teacher education on 5 April 2018 at JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland. At the forum, a so called ‘project market’ was arranged to give the floor for project providers to introduce their work. The ViSuAL-project was visually present at the market and project partners from JAMK were available to talk and answer questions posed by interested visitors.”
The national forum gathered almost 100 participants from around Finland who were interested in discovering more about the themes on research-based and international teacher training that were main focus points in the forum.
According to the new development programme launched by the Ministry, a research-based approach in teacher education will be reinforced. Utilisation of the latest research on teaching and learning in teacher education is vital. The objective of the Finnish development programme is to ensure that teacher education remains attractive and strong, and that teacher students assimilate an inquiry-based and creative approach to the teacher’s work.
The ViSuAL-project supports the achievement of these national aims as within in the project a design based research will be carried out on investigating learning principles and pedagogical models for facilitation of professional development via video-supported collaborative learning. Furthermore, the aim is to create a proven concept for co-creation of pedagogical models supported by digital tools.
The objective of the Finnish teacher education development programme is to adopt a systematic and coherent structure in teachers’ competence development during their careers. The current challenges in educators’ work include e.g. increasing diversity of learners, changing working contexts due to the availability and usage of knowledge and digitalization. For this demanding work, educators need versatile pedagogical skills and content knowledge, but in particular, skills and competences related to learning and instruction, interaction, well-being and development of educational organisations.
Also, these development aims are touched upon in the ViSuAL-project. When writing the project application, the partners discovered that many teachers do not use video tools in a way that contributes to developing conceptual thinking and problem solving skills as relevant work-life competences of the knowledge worker. We, in the ViSuAL project believe that there is a need for e-competent teachers in utilizing e-learning with leading digital collaboration solutions. The same holds for pedagogical knowledge of designers in educational technology companies. Video-based e-learning and knowledge building are 21st century approaches; the modernization of European HEIs calls for a workable pedagogy and skilled teachers to take on the up-to-date video-supported collaboration solutions for creative teamwork in online environments.
The work towards achieving these project aims has now begun. Currently, the partners are working on the literature review on video-based communication tools in education and teachers’ professional development. In addition, the project teams are preparing themselves for the experimentations of using videos in supporting learning, and planning interviews with experienced teachers utilizing videos.