Enhancing Collaboration between Schools and Companies
In September 2019, Gradia launched a Skills Broker programme for 30 teachers from Changzhou Technical Institute of Tourism and Commerce. Teachers developed cooperation with local enterprises and schools using the methodology of service design. The programme has been aligned with a service design module from the Finnish Specialist Qualification in Product Development.
Teachers in Skills Broker programme are not only getting tools to develop school-company collaboration but also tools for promoting student-centred methods in their own teaching.
Teachers got an accredited Finnish diploma of completing a part of the qualification. The programme consisted of intensive weeks in Changzhou, distance learning (team and development work) and competence assessment.
Finland as a forerunner in work-based learning models
Development of school-company collaboration is one of the national priorities in Chinese vocational education and training. Cooperation is essential in increasing the quality and attractiveness of vocational education. Finland as a forerunner in developing different kind of work-based learning models has a lot to share. Therefore, Gradia has developed the teacher training programme called Skills Broker to improve the match between training provision and the needs of the industry. The first Skills Broker Teacher training programme was successfully piloted in China in 2018-2019.
Ms Maritta Kinnunen, working as a lead expert in the Skills Broker programme shares the experiences of other Finnish Experts. “In China it seems that the education is more teacher-centred than in Finland – whereas we have an emphasis on student-centred learning and teaching. This means that the teachers in Skills Broker programme are not only getting tools to develop school-company collaboration but also tools for promoting student-centred methods in their own teaching.”
According to the feedback the best parts in the qualification process were group work, co-teaching and different pedagogical tools used.
Photo: Teachers celebrating their diplomas with the Principals from Changzhou and Jyväskylä, experts, assessor and industry representatives.