I am proud of being educated in Finland

I took the chance to have my teaching practice in Shenyang Sports University, China. The school was founded in 1954, is one of the six leading sports educational institutions in China, and the largest one in northern China located in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province. It offers teaching, training and research facilities. Currently it has 7451 undergraduates and 739 graduates studying in 15 programmes, i.e. P.E. sports training, traditional Chinese sports, sports marketing, kinesiology, sports dancing, sports management, sports tourism, sports journalism, English etc. The school has established cooperation in academic research, teacher and student exchanges with more than 30 countries, but not yet with Finland. I participated in the course of human management which belonged to the bachelor programme of sports management. The students were on their last year to graduate. I spent time to get to know their teaching staff, teaching and learning environment and have discussion with some of the students. There are many differences in terms of teaching method, teaching and learning culture between Finnish and Chinese education.

All teachers there have to hold a Ph.D degree or equivalent qualification. The more famous of your graduated institution, the stronger your position will be. It seems that a certification paper matters more than the quality of pedagogical skills. Many of the teachers or professors started their teaching profession right away from graduation of school. Thus I could see that the teaching was very theoretical, with less practical experience. The teaching and learning environment was very lecturer-centred. The lecturer (a Ph.D or post Ph.D) conducted the teaching with Powerpoints, sometimes with practical examples. The interaction between the teacher and the students was limited, thus the classroom was quiet. The teaching wasn’t designed as we did in Finland in the purpose of getting student to think critically and to be involved in the teaching & learning process.

The students received the knowledge in a passive way and I doubted how the teacher would know the learning progress of the students. I definitely feel that we are here in Finland teaching more effectively. We more value the importance of pedagogical training, educational development and we spend more time and resources to improve the quality of teaching and learning. We are much ahead in the area which teaching is more student-centred and teaching & learning is more effective through constructivist approach. At the end I gave two lectures about microeconomics. I used the teaching method as I used in Finnish classroom, which was to let students do the research for my questions, present their results and share them in the classroom etc. My class was suddenly active and full of discussion and arguing. The students had a different learning experience and they loved it and so admired Finnish schools. I was so proud of being so well trained and educated in Finland.

The environment and facilities of the school are very good; food is delicious and teachers & students are so friendly. It was really a nice experience for me and I really enjoyed it.

Yanghon Xi

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