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Coronavirus situation at the University of Eastern Finland

Scene from Palestine.

Improving teacher education in Palestine

The University of Eastern Finland has teamed up with the University of Helsinki to develop Palestinian teacher education in universities on the West Bank and in Gaza. The long-term objective is to improve the quality of compulsory basic education in Palestinian schools. Palestine has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and this is also reflected on schools. The project Teacher Education without Walls – New Models for STEM and Teacher Education in the Digital Age (Olive) creates online learning environments, develops methods for learning and teaching, and updates the diplomas and contents of teacher education.

“We also support school leaders in implementing this change,” says the project’s accountable leader, Professor Teemu Valtonen from the University of Eastern Finland.

From the University of Eastern Finland, the School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, and the Department of Physics and Mathematics, participate in the project. 

The objective is to comprehensively transform Palestinian teacher education. This will provide student teachers with a better opportunity to use optimal pedagogical and technological solutions to support their teaching and learning.

Focus on STEM

The Olive project focuses on developing students’ skills in STEM, i.e., in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Finnish teacher educators also assist in the development of Palestinian students’ teamwork and problem-solving skills, critical thinking, skills in independent study, and ICT skills. 

“In addition to teacher educators and educational scientists, the project also involves experts of the LUMA Centre from the Department of Physics and Mathematics.” 

The project will also introduce light-weight and mobile “backpack laboratories” that can easily be moved, with all their equipment, from one school to the next.  

“In a nutshell, our goal is to provide teacher educators and student teachers, as well as teachers working in schools and school leaders, with an opportunity to use modern pedagogical solutions that create better opportunities for learning irrespective of time and place.”

The Teacher Education without Walls – New Models for STEM and Teacher Education in the Digital Age (Olive) started in 2020 and will run until 2024. 

For further information, please contact:
Professor of Education Teemu Valtonen, teemu.valtonen(at), tel. +358 50 442 4401