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Education in Finland - Learning for Life, Not Just School

  • ISA 45 Sportlaan Amstelveen, NH, 1185 TB Netherlands (map)

Why come?

Finland’s education has gained international attention for the ability to produce excellent learning outcomes even though the students start school older and spend fewer hours a year in the classroom than their counterparts in most other European countries. Finland is also known for its well-trained teachers that enjoy a high degree of professional freedom.

In the first day of the workshop, the participants will gain an understanding of the guiding principles of the Finnish way of education and answers to the questions including: What does ‘less is more’ mean in the Finnish educational ecosystem? How is balance between well-being and academic outcomes cultivated? Why are ‘trust’ and ‘responsibility’ such an integral part of education at national level and at daily school life?

The second day of the workshop will focus on the theme ‘Learning of life not just school’. It is widely acknowledged that education must reflect our rapidly changing global environment and face any emerging circumstances and challenges head on. The participants will explore in a ‘Hands-on, Brains-on’ manner the following questions: What kind of transversal competencies are likely to be needed in the future? How can they be taught? In what ways does the Finnish National Core Curriculum address learning in the 21st century?



  • Early-bird rate: 425 Euros (register by 13 December, 2019)

  • Standard rate: 475 Euros (register by 28 February, 2020)

Group rate:

  • Group early-bird rate: 375 Euros (register by 13 December 2019)

  • Group standard rate: 425 Euros (register by 28 February 2020)

Event details

Who is it for?

Primary school educators.

Workshop goals:

By the end of the workshop, the participants will:

  • Understand the guiding principles of the Finnish way of education.

  • Be able to reflect these principles in relation to their own context.

  • Know how the Finnish schools aim to prepare today’s students for the largely unknown challenges of the future.

  • Conceive how the learning of 21st century skills can be embedded to daily school life.

  • Be inspired to apply the workshop ideas for resolving their local challenges.


Day 1:

  • Session 1 - The Finnish education system and its guiding principles.

  • Session 2 - Active reflection on the guiding principles.

  • Session 3 -

    • At the core of Finland's curriculum and its implementation.

    • 21st Century (transversal) skills and competences in the curriculum.

  • Session 4 - Me and our curriculum - what can we learn from Finland?

Day 2:

  • Session 5 -

    • Keeping the creative subjects in schools.

    • Home economics: supporting independent living skills.

  • Session 6 -

    • Schools on the Move – establishing a physically active school culture.

    • Primetime model for collaborative, active and technology-enhanced STEM learning.

    • Supporting emotional intelligence.

  • Session 7 -

    • (Re)considering evaluation and assessment.

    • A full schedule with timings of the sessions will be sent out to participants in the week prior to the workshop.

  • Session 8 -

    • What do I take home? – reflection of one’s own learning point.

    • Evaluation and feedback of the workshop.

    • Thank you and goodbye!

Day breakdown

Workshops start at 08:30. Coffee and a light breakfast will be served from 08:00. Workshops will finish by 16:00. Lunch, snacks and beverages throughout the day are provided.

The full schedule will be sent out to registered participants two weeks prior to the workshop.

Featured speaker


Olli-Pekka Malinen

Lead Expert at EduCluster Finland

Over the course of his career, Dr. Olli-Pekka Malinen has worked in Finland as a special education class teacher, researcher, teacher trainer, education consultant, project manager of large-scale school development projects, and vice director of a multidisciplinary research and development institute. He has also been a visiting researcher in Beijing, China, a visiting Fulbright Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, and a visiting researcher at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In his current role as a Lead Expert at EduCluster Finland (University of Jyväskylä Group), Malinen specialises in sharing Finland’s educational approach with international audiences. 

Malinen has authored multiple scientific and professional publications, and presented in some of the most prestigious educational conferences around the world. During his professional career, Malinen has lived in four countries and collaborated with partners across five continents. Due to his international experience, Malinen interacts confidently with people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Malinen regularly leads professional development workshops for Finnish principals and teachers covering topics such as co-teaching, inclusive education, and evidence-based methods of positive behaviour support.