How can education solve global problems? What happens at the neural level in our brains when we learn something? It is possible to delve deeper into these questions in the University of Helsinki’s new international Master’s Programme in Changing Education.
The programme is open to bachelor’s degree holders in education and neighbouring disciplines or students who have acquired corresponding knowledge anywhere in the world.
From the perspective of students, Finland is a particularly interesting country for studying education and learning, since Finland is globally renowned for the quality of its education.
Everyone is entitled to education and the learning outcomes of Finnish schoolchildren rank at the top globally, but these results are not achieved at the expense of wellbeing. A great deal of work is done for the equality of schools and pupils’ equal opportunities.
Teachers have received education based on research and they have been practicing teaching guided by experienced teachers.
The teacher’s profession is valued in Finland and each teacher has the freedom to plan and implement teaching based on their own expertise.
Themes include neuroscience and an equal school system
Students of education at the University of Helsinki get to develop their skills and networks guided by world-leading researchers.
The offering is unique: the University of Helsinki’s strong knowledge in research focusing on the equality of education is combined with the neuroscience and the psychology of learning.
“We have brought together these two key approaches in educational sciences. When familiarisation with the Finnish school system from basic education and early childhood education to higher education is added to these, the programme offered is one of a kind globally,” says Professor of Education Minna Huotilainen, the director of the programme.
Visits to schools and other educational institutions are part of the studies from the very beginning. This allows students to familiarise themselves with teachers’ work and the Finnish school system in a very concrete manner. When possible, school visits will also offer a glimpse ‘behind the scenes’ in the form of discussions with teachers and principals.
Brain research studies will allow students to see for themselves what role neuroscience has in thinking and learning. Studies in education and equality will acquaint students with the structures and functioning of Finnish society.
In addition to lectures, students will engage in projects and work in groups. The learning environment is the inspiring hub of education knowledge with 3,000 students and 500 researchers, located at the City Centre Campus of the University of Helsinki.
Education changes the world
This master’s programme educates change agents in education. Consequently, even the name of the programme refers to this fact: Changing Education.
“Upbringing and education change the world in a sustainable manner. At school, a seed for change is planted for the new generation. It will awaken the idea that it is possible to change the world," says Huotilainen.
“Master’s degree holders graduating from the University of Helsinki are change agents in the field of education. Inspired by their studies, many of them may bring back knowledge to their home countries on how the education system in their countries should be developed.”
The degree does not provide students with teacher qualifications but it gives an excellent foundation for other positions in education by combining two top entities: education research and teaching conducted at the University of Helsinki which has been assessed to be of high quality in various global rankings and research assessments and the world-renowned Finnish education system.
The first students of the Master’s Programme in Changing Education will begin their studies in autumn 2020. The application period for the programme runs from 3 December 2019 to 10 January 2020.
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