Fun Academy was excited to attend the Finnish-Russian Educational Forum held in St. Petersburg in March 2018. Moreover, it was the first educational forum organized between Finland and Russia dedicated to pre-school and school education. The event aimed to connect Finnish education experts and organizations with their Russian counterparts. More than 120 participants attended the two day forum, with over 2000 tuning in to its online broadcast. Participants representing public and private schools, pre-schools, institutions of higher and additional education in Russia, Finland and Kazakhstan attended the Finnish-Russian Education Forum.
The Finnish-Russian Educational Forum
According to Irina Solonova, Curator of the Finnish-Russian Educational Forum, this event is a result of the growing interest within Russia, about Finnish education achievements and innovations. Many in Russia are interested to learn about the best practices and innovative technology used in Finnish education. However, they lack information and support to adapt and implement these pedagogical approaches. Therefore, the Finnish-Russian Educational Forum is an attempt to connect Russian education experts interested in evolving the future of education, with those who can provide the best solutions.
The two day event included a lineup of electric keynote speeches. Fun Academy CEO Sanna Lukander spoke on ‘Fun Learning – play and exploration at the core of wellbeing and effective learning’. Furthermore, the forum also provided workshops and networking opportunity for participants. The Finnish-Russian Educational Forum was organized by the Ruspro Group together with the Finnish National Agency for Education (OPH), Business Finland in Kazakhstan, the Finnish Institute in St. Petersburg, the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg State University and ISKU.
Highlights of the Event
The workshops were a key highlight of the Finnish-Russian Educational Forum. Workshops in particular gave organizations the opportunity to share their successes and most innovative experiences. The ideas shared included inspiring educational environments, improving the skills of teachers and building export-ready kindergarten models. Furthermore, education technology for specialized training in schools was also discussed. Most notably, methods of working with children in the areas of inclusion, reducing stress and developing 21st century skills were discussed.
“The invited speakers presented really interesting and useful information. Their presentations gave food for thought and lots of ideas which I would like to bring to life. This positive experience gave extra motivation to all participants!” – Participant, Finnish-Russian Educational Forum
Russian participants particularly valued Finnish education experts emphasizing the importance of adapting the knowledge and practices they shared to compliment the local culture and needs.
As Irina insisted, “It is impossible to destroy an existing education practice and adapt something completely new. Thus, education reform has to be progressive and happen one step at a time.”
A reason why Fun Academy develops Fun Learning solutions that are universally adaptable to fit local culture and curricular goals. The forum also gave Russian organizations the opportunity to showcase their best domestic practices. Moreover, some institutions also shared their experiences of combining international approaches with the local education system.
The Future of Finnish-Russian Educational Cooperation
To sum up, The Finnish-Russian Educational Forum presents the opportunity to move beyond the exchange of theoretical ideas. Furthermore, it allows the exchange of pedagogical technologies and practical knowledge. It opened a clear dialogue between education experts from both nations to strengthen the interactions between the two pedagogical systems.
The organizers look forward to making the Finnish-Russian Educational Forum an annual tradition. Fun Academy is also excited to share the Fun Learning approach with our Russian peers. Ultimately, we aim to evolve the future of early childhood education together.