Text | Satu Uronen
This week we’ve had a pleasure to host a language teacher from a Spanish language school and present Finnish vocational education system. Marta is an English teacher from EOI la Vall d’Albaida and observing teaching methods at Mercuria for one week. We asked her experiences about Finland, our educational system, and cultural differences.
Marta’s school, EOI la Vall d’Albaida is a state funded language school for adults. She finds our secondary education system very interesting, which differs from Spanish system so, that our vocational students have the opportunity to apply to university after graduation. She also finds it very valuable, that students at vocational colleges in Finland may choose to complete two degrees simultaneously. It is very popular to attend matriculation examination and get the vocational qualification at the same time. The education system in Spain also has vocational colleges, where students can learn different professions. But in order to apply to university students must do their matriculation exams first.
Marta has recognized that the lessons at Mercuria have been quite interactive. During the lessons students are working in teams and talking with each other while completing their tasks. All students have their own computers and there are not that many books anymore. About cultural differences she says that Spanish people are louder. November in Finland can be dark and there is not much daylight, and Finnish people seem to stay very quiet in public transport. “Maybe I’m not a typical Spanish, because I have also enjoyed the silence”, she smiles.
Erasmus+ -training opportunities allow teachers in Europe to go “job shadowing” in different countries and learn about their educations system. The goal for this program is to share good teaching practices. Erasmus+ supports the professional development of people working in vocational education and training (VET) through training periods abroad. These opportunities can consist of structured courses, training assignments or job shadowing periods at VET institution or at another relevant organization (erasmus-plus.ec.europa.eu).