On Tuesday 1st November, our topic was internationalization and multiculturalism in vocational education. In my field of business, marketing and sales the topic is really important in many ways. Most companies are actively looking opportunities to expand operations abroad and many kind of skills and knowledge of international environment are needed now and even more in the near future. From point of GDP of Finland an increasing export figures are needed in order to grow economy in Finland.
First 30 minutes’ session was presented by Virpi from red Team. Topic of the red team was: How can vocational teacher operate in an international network and promote student’s opportunities there? Teaching method was case study method. So far this method has always worked quite well and this time made not exemption. Case person was Anne, 45 years old lecturer in Vocational school and our task was to find ways to help her to improve her international skills. I was really impressed how many good suggestions our group managed to point out.
Firs time in this program someone used Pecha Gucha. Somehow I like the method as it is based on visual images. This method is widely used espesicially in start up events where start up companies are giving a short, 2-10 minutes presentations in order to get attention from investors.
I am going to be a teacher in a field of business. It is important that students are ready to work in international environment right after graduation. As a teacher, I need to help them to start to think international aspect from the very beginning. I think it would be good if a teacher can integrate international aspects to all subjects. Internationalization is much more than just complete the one course of “international business”. It is and attitude and a way of thinking all business, sales and marketing related issues. Students need a plan to start build their international skills and processes from the very beginning of their studies.
Second session was given by Mitra and Ata from red Team. Their topic was: In the school organizations of your vocational field, what opportunities are there for international projects, work exchange and teacher exchange?
They have contacted International coordinator for OAMK and asked him a about international opportunities. In Mitra´s blog there is good links to some exchange programs.
Another good and memorable way to teach was PowToon presentation. The group had answered questions about their own experiences of being exchange students and international issues in general. I felt it was much more interesting as we all know persons who were interviewed. Watch nice video from this link.
After red team it was Christina’s turn to teach us about how does ECVET, student and work force mobility affect vocational education? This topic is totally new for me and first time when I even hear about this ECVET. There was a lot of information given by Christina, we watched a video and interactively filled in interactive memo. After all I think I got so much new information that I was kind of overloaded and it was a bit hard to even give some comments and answers to Christina’s questions so quickly. I should have used much more time with the pretask so I would have known better this topic before actual session.
Last, it was my turn to step out with a topic: How can a vocational teacher consider multiculturalism in school settings? Teaching method for the session was introduction + case studies. For introduction, we created a Prezi presentation. We wanted to give some information about James Bank and his dimensions of multicultural education before starting to work with cases.
After introduction, we moved on with cases. We asked student to write down concrete actions about how a teacher could promote each dimensions of James Banks model. At this time we had created Padlet to give case information and write down ideas into the corresponding dimensions. I let them to think about this few minutes before I started to facilitate discussion. I have notice this before too, as it is good to let students think about few minutes alone before asking comments, but on the other hand it means that there is silence for few minutes and It makes me somehow feel that I am not using valuable time effectively. But this was my plan before and I think it is good to keep in mind that there is not too many or too long silent moments.
After all we had a full Padlet of concrete ways of how to consider multiculturalism in school settings. Link to the Padlet.