In February I had the privilege of cooperating with a school in Llinars del Vallès, Barcelona. The school was a public-school Escola Salvador Sanromà that hosts students from ages 4 to 12. The school is very active in development work and international cooperation.
The cooperation with Sanromà and the Finnish FCLab started during Autumn 2022. Sanromà’s staff were looking for an FCL (Future Classroom Lab) expert to help in the schools’ transition to innovative learning environments and new ways of learning and working with new technologies. Our paths crossed and both parties were eager to roll up the sleeves and start working.
The first phase was a pedagogical exchange session with feedback about some projects that had been done at the school. We had two Google Meet sessions where we discussed how the projects impacted essential skills to learn for the future and this was also a great way to get to know each other.
The next phase was the planning of the visit and the contents that would take place. We decided that the themes were going to be the transformation of the learning spaces, the usage of ICT as an essential part of the learning process and the Finnish school and educational system. Some workshops were aimed for all the staff and some for a specific group of expert teachers. One goal as well was to plan future cooperation.
Besides the contents described above the cooperation gave a possibility to interact with the staff as well as the students of Sanromà. This was meaningful for both parts, and it was a great cultural and lingual exchange. The week was meaningful in other aspects as well. It was interesting to learn about and compare the differences and similarities of the school systems as well as for example the role of the parents.
The Themes of the Workshops
Some Outcomes from the Teachers
Reflections and Actions
From my point of view the cooperation was a success. I was able to facilitate the ideologies of modern innovative learning environments and the staff was eager to start the transformation. Many times, the teachers already have the ideas, but they might need a little boost to get the transformation started. The change of the physical learning spaces started during Friday on the same week. It’s going to be great to learn and see what the outcomes are going to be. The transformation is always a process so hopefully the transformation will never be ready ;).
We had nice discussions about ICT in learning and our hands-on sessions were inspiring and ideas started developing immediately. The expert’s role in many cases is to work as a reflecting surface of the staff. Many times, the know-how and visions are already there, and you just must give a little spark and the flame will start. It is as well useful for an outsider to observe learn and ask questions.
The school and learning culture of Sanromà made a big impact. It was wonderful to experience the spirit of the school. Some guiding principles and values are inclusiveness, a very strong sense of community and agency in many things. Those similar values are something we appreciate in the Finnish school system. One difference compared to Finland is the time schedule. The teachers have a possibility to collaborate, plan and work in their different teams and development projects daily. This is different in the Finnish schools.
Hopefully we will continue the cooperation and at some point, I will have the possibility to hear about and see the changes that are taking place. This cooperation was made possible with Funding from the Erasmus+ project.
-Sampo Forsström, FCLab Lead Ambassador