About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5670-5674
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

FROM THEMATIC WEEKS TO DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS. A STUDY ON INTERNATIONAL DIMENSION IN FINNISH SCHOOLS

S. Korkala

CIMO Centre for International Mobility (FINLAND)
Internationalisation and the international dimension are commonplace in general education in Finland today. Although the financial resources available for international work are more modest than in primary and secondary schools than in other education levels, many of them are still very actively involved in it.

The impact of schools’ international work has traditionally been studied from the point of view of individuals, looking at the experiences of pupils and teachers. In this study the focus is on the school’s point of view and on what kind of lasting impact international work ha shad on the day-to-day life in Finnish schools. The aim of this study was also to highlight the diversity on international activities schools are engaged in. At best, international work brings joy to the whole school, new experiences and new ways of working, remembered and applied for years to come.

The study sought answers to following questions: What kind of international work are Finnish schools engaged in and how it is organised? How do local authorities view international work in schools? What impact has international work had on the everyday life in schools? What resources do schools need to be able to engage in international work successfully? Why do some schools choose not to engage in international work? The target group on the study were Finnish comprehensive schools and upper secondary schools as well as senior officers from local education authorities. The survey consisted of an online survey and interviews.

According to the survey, international work is becoming an established part of everyday life of Finnish schools. It ha become more and more common fro the 1990s onwards when Finland joined the European Union. International work at schools is also diverse. On the whole, the attitudes towards international work in schools are positive. 75% from respondents regard international work as essential for development. However, more than a half of respondents were not happy with the financial support received. Financial concerns have a considerably influence on international work on Finnish schools.

Finnish schools are active participants in Comenius partnerships compared to other countries with similar size of population. The success rate of partnership is also high in Finland. This is because the Finnish Ministry of Education provides extra funding for the programme nationally.

Main result of the study was that the impact of international work increases when it is well planed and the results are disseminated. The study also revealed that participation in international work relied on both resources and attitudes. International work can also have unexpected impact on school work and there are many factors that make international work relevant to participants.
@InProceedings{KORKALA2011FRO,
author = {Korkala, S.},
title = {FROM THEMATIC WEEKS TO DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS. A STUDY ON INTERNATIONAL DIMENSION IN FINNISH SCHOOLS},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {5670-5674}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Korkala
TI - FROM THEMATIC WEEKS TO DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS. A STUDY ON INTERNATIONAL DIMENSION IN FINNISH SCHOOLS
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 5670
EP - 5674
ER -
S. Korkala (2011) FROM THEMATIC WEEKS TO DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS. A STUDY ON INTERNATIONAL DIMENSION IN FINNISH SCHOOLS, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 5670-5674.
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