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      Bringing Finnish education to the Copper Country

      Finland's education system has been praised for years as being one of the best in the world.

      Third grade teacher at South Range Elementary, Steve Aho, and his students received a first-hand experience with Finnish teaching when two students from the University of Lapland in Finland came to the school for their student-teaching requirements.

      One student studying education and one student studying technology and media teamed up to teach the class together...something Aho said was eye-opening.

      â??They did a very nice job of incorporating technology in and when you have somebody whose skills and strengths are in utilizing technology and teaching that aspect of it,â?? said Aho.

      This team-teaching concept will be part of a larger discussion during the FinnFest education forum and exchange of ideas about Finnish teaching practices with Copper Country educators.

      Finlandia University president, Philip Johnson, said the goal is to find out what is working in Finland and how to apply it locally.

      â??We want to bring that expertise, that model, that idea here to the Copper Country for a very good discussion with other education professionals in the area,â?? explained Johnson.

      One stark difference is how Finland views testing.

      â??They would look at things like time in the classroom, training for educators, for the teachers, policy that affects education,â?? Johnson said.

      Aho says the lessons also allowed students to play a bigger part in how they learn.

      â??Both groups of students that have come so far have had fantastic ideas on what they wanted with their lessons, and they have given, maybe, more freedom to the students as to how they were going to accomplish those goals and expectations,â?? Aho said.

      The education forum will take place on the Wednesday during FinnFest and is open to FinnFest registrants.