Effective educational systems and well-trained teachers are on demand worldwide. Finnish education with good reputation, especially in the PISA results, is well-known and also thoroughly studied. However, the education export sector has a major challenge in transferring the know-how to interested teachers in different cultural contexts. It is not enough to copy the teaching contents or methods and repeat them elsewhere.
So, what are the cornerstones of successful education export? I suggest four cornerstones:
To build the four cornerstones for each cultural context calls for creative and tailored solutions. What works in Finland can also work elsewhere when it makes sense in the new context and ‘when the soil is fertile’.
I can honestly say from my own experience in the education export field that when we could not build our projects on the four cornerstones listed above, we did not fully succeed in our project aims. Some lessons learned are described in the paper (Experiences with the Export of Education in Health Sciences from Denmark to Saudi Arabia) on our education export project in Saudi Arabia.
On the other hand, my research experience in developing (health) policies in different societies in the last 20 years has taught me how sustainable, real-world policy making is influenced by contextual factors such as priorities, values, resources and culture, in addition to the available research evidence. Thus, both education export and policy development are only informed by (research) evidence, not based on it. Those interested in learning more about the evidence-informed approach, may visit the website of the REPOPA project (www.repopa.eu) and have a glance at the published papers there.
In EduRes Consulting we aim to apply this evidence-informed approach in consulting and training trainers; building on the approach and methods shown effective (e.g. in Finland), we provide tailored, salient services for different cultural contexts. Our work is built on the four cornerstones of needs assessment, serving mentality, co-creation and learning from practice and experience via evaluation.
EduRes is a new company, founded in the end of August 2019. However, we as EduRes founders, are not new to the field. We have a long, international experience from different educational and research institutions. EduRes builds on our lifelong experience; it combines the best available evidence of high-quality education and the cultural knowhow on adult pedagogics, quality assurance of educational and research programs, and integrity of research. We believe in co-creation, combining areas of expertise, listening to the customers, finding solutions and building skills relevant and feasible to the context and the future of our customers’ professional development.
There are many actors in this field; we want to contribute to the field with our specific knowledge, knowhow and experience. We are open for collaboration with actors sharing our vision and mission. With this blog we aim to add to the discussion and debate on how to best enhance high quality education, empower and support teachers in their careers and deliver teaching, which makes a real difference in learning.
We are Finns – and proud of the Finnish educational system. However, we are also Finns, who have worked and lived long periods abroad.
Each context has taught us a lot; this helps us to tailor our training to the customers’ context.
Arja & Leena
P.S. We are in the process of building our website. Please bear with us; soon we will add more material to this website, including mission, vision etc.