Assessing and enhancing 21st century skills in formal and informal learning environments
The project is a collaboration between three universities – Tampere University, University of Jyväskylä and University of Helsinki, that aims at developing a national collaborative network devoted to implementation and study of transversal skills in teacher education; developing a concrete definition pertaining to transversal skills that complements the Finnish National Core Curriculum as well as international curricula; and training teachers to integrate and assess transversal skills in formal and informal educational environments. It is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.
In the spring of 2019, STEAM workshops were organized in primary schools in the Pirkanmaa region to support the design of the teacher education module. The aim of the workshops was to get familiarized with the informal learning materials for the upcoming teacher education course and to test the digital assessment tool for transversal competences.
In the spring of 2020, the 10 ECTS course is implemented at the Faculty of Education and Culture of Tampere University for master’s level teacher education students. The course presents transversal skills from the perspective of the national curriculum and research literature, with the aim to develop versatile teaching and assessment practices related to different subjects. The course incorporates team learning as an educational approach, and implements practical methods from science centre pedagogy, entrepreneurship education and thinking skills interventions. Parts of the course will also be offered at the University of Jyväskylä and the University of Helsinki and will be offered nationwide as an (M)OOC for teacher education and in-service teacher training.
The team in Jyväskylä (Kristof Fenyvesi, Tiina Mäkelä and Marja Kankaanranta) are responsible for development of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) pedagogy in the project, primarily from the perspective of arts and crafts.
Kristof Fenyvesi and Tiina Mäkelä organized a STEAM workshop for teacher education students at the Faculty of Education and Culture (TAU) within the previously mentioned 10 ECTS course, where they presented to the students the possibilities to apply STEAM pedagogy in formal and informal learning environments.
Exhibitions, museums, science centres, national parks and cultural institutions have been utilized as informal teaching environments in teacher training. Models of informal learning science centre pedagogy were tested and applied to the context of school education.
Teachers’ own experiments and multidisciplinary study units have been used in Espoo and Helsinki.
A new evaluation form was created to support the evaluation of both project educators and researchers as well as participating teachers.
First scientific article, “Student teachers confidence in teaching of the 21st century transversal competences”, was submitted for peer review.Master’s theses on topics including teachers’ perceptions of thinking skills and learning to learn have been submitted or are still in progress.Results have been presented at the following national and international forums: Teacher Training Forum, Museum Lecturer Days, Material Education Days; Arktikum, Subject Science 2020; STEAM Education Conference, Athens; BRIDGES Math & Art World Conference, Linz; FERA 2019, Subject Didactics 2020, Teacher Training Forum, Ecsite Conference 2020 (Slovenia), Kleine Kindern Wissenschaftin Konferenz (Germany) and the EU Science With and For Society event.