Hungarian Kispesti Deák Ferenc School’s visit to Jyväskylän Norssi to learn about STEAM and sustainability
October 2023, a group of students and teachers from the Kispesti Deák Ferenc High School Budapest arrived to Jyväskylä to realise their Erasmus+ mobility programmes. Regarding job shadowing and student group mobilities, their host school was the Normaalikoulu, Jyväskylä University’s practice school – aka Norssi. Their study tour and the related teacher training programme was prepared, designed and organised by Experience Workshop.
International collaboration: the STEAM Training
Some of the teachers participated in Experience Workshop’s international STEAM training, conducted by STEAM researcher dr. Kristóf Fenyvesi. The Hungarian teachers of diverse school subjects exchanged experiences and thoughts with their German and Lithuanian colleagues. They looked at how STEAM methodology fits into the Finnish educational environment and then assessed the possibilities in their own country.
“The training was an outstanding experience for me with its different topics, including the Finnish education system and the STEAM approach. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the relevance of the STEAM approach in 21st-century education. I would like to commend Kristóf for his engaging response to all our varied questions and critical comments. The training was dense (in a positive sense) with a broad range of topics and activities. It’s challenging to single out one aspect as the highlight.”
School Visit, Job Shadowing
Other Hungarian teachers realised a job shadowing visit in the Norssi school. Teacher and university lecturer Pirjo Pollari guided them through the week, with an introductory discussion on the first day and an evaluation discussion on the last day to help set the framework for working together and gathering lessons learned. Also volunteer Finnish students made the visitors’ stay as pleasant and useful as possible.
Visitors met many colleagues over the week-long period. Here they are consulting with special needs teacher Salla Vehkasalo.
Students had the opportunity to take part in different school lessons.
In the end of the week, during a reflexion round, Hungarian participants summarized their experiences. They expressed how astonished they were at the technical equipment of the school, how they liked the assessment system (no surprise tests), and the motivated attitude of learners. The Finnish mentor Pirjo Pollari emphasized that Finland has become what it is through the equal access to education, with other words, there is no aristocracy, but Finland became a meritocracy through education.
“SuSTEAMability” in the Museum
In connection with the current exhibition at the Art Museum Jyväskylä, participants explored the synergies between STEAM methodology and sustainability and how they are reflected in different educational contexts such as in South Africa or Europe, including Finland, Hungary, Germany and Lithuania.
The Warka Workshop
The Warka Tower is designed to harvest water from the atmosphere for rural populations lacking enough drinkable water. It is a passive structure, it functions only by natural phenomena such as gravity, condensation, and evaporation. With the help of the 4D Frame toolkit, students of Kispesti Deák and Norssi school could reconstruct the tower’s structure, and discuss its mechanism and benefits.
In the afternoons there was also time to explore the cultural and natural treasures of Central Finland and enjoy the sauna, outdoor grilling, forest walks, the Alvar Aalto museum, a city tour etc.
Participants reportedly felt like explorers – each day discovering something exciting! Hopefully this will be a long lasting memory and source of creativity.
Feedback by students
We have seen and experienced a lot of new things in the school lessons.
For me, the most interesting were the STEAM workshops.
The most interesting thing was that Finns drink milk with everything at lunch.
Everyone is very careful about cleanliness and no one is littering.
I enjoyed the sauna the most, it was the experience of a lifetime.
I’ve noticed in the school that they often work in teams or make a presentation and then at the end of the class they don’t get much homework.
I have experienced how it works when I don’t have to be in a rush all the time and I can take it slow.
Most interesting was the complete digitalisation of the school.
Thanks for the life changing experience!
Feedback by teachers
I liked the variety of the course and that it was so well adjusted to the needs of the group.
I most enjoyed the fact that the STEAM training program was very diverse. It covered many different subjects, such as science, technology, engineering, and art. This allowed me to learn a lot of new things and learn how to apply them in practice.
One of the most interesting details was the short course about the importance of building up the social-emotional competences next to the cognitive competences.
Overall, the STEAM training program was a very beneficial experience. It helped me to expand my knowledge and skills. I believe that these skills will be useful to me in both my personal and professional life.
Engaging with other educators and experts during the program has honed my communication skills and expanded my professional network, which will be invaluable in my future endeavors.
I have developed my skills in information technology and its use for lectures. Also, gained more experience working with disabled kids. Feel like I can speak more fluently English after the training program.
Interdisciplinary Approach: Understanding how to integrate STEAM into my teaching has opened up new avenues for curriculum development.
THANK YOU. For your fantastic empathy and attention towards us in each moment. For the great organising work you did for us. For the privilege to learn from such an enthusiastic and creative educational researcher like Kristóf. For the possibility to have a one-week-long glimpse in what is going on in today’s educational research.
I have learnt about sustainability as a social consensus.
I found the most interesting the deep insight in the elements and the background of the Finnish educational system.
I felt like an explorer, each day discovering something exciting!
Photo credits: Nóra Somlyódy, Kristóf Fenyvesi, András Lázár
The student group mobility, the teacher trainings and the job shadowing mobilities were realized in the frameworks of the Erasmus+ KA121 programme.
Would you like to participate in a similar educational program?