keskiviikko 25. toukokuuta 2016

Being SM@RT in Norway

Dear Erasmus+ friends,

greetings from the fjords! In the middle of May, Norway was enjoying beautiful, sunny and warm days of spring, and I was attending a Scandinavian seminar up on the spectacular hills of Oslo.

Last December, our coordinator Petteri gave a lecture in an Erasmus+ seminar in infamously awful less-than-spectacular Kouvola, Finland. While he was touring Bulgaria with you (yes, I was a bit envious), I represented our project in Oslo (to be honest, it wasn’t bad either).

In, or basically over Oslo, close to the famous Holmenkollen skiing center, we were monitoring the topic of Early School Leaving (ESL). We discussed how to prevent students from dropping out of school. There were a few lessons based on academic studies and on the Europe 2020 strategy, the aim of which is to reduce the average rate of ESL to less than 10 %.

My contribution was to tell the concept of our project in a workshop. I told upper secondary school teachers from Sweden, Norway and Denmark what we are doing, what we are aiming at and what we have achieved. The response was positive: they thought our idea is very good and useful, as it could show future career paths. I had a lot of questions to respond, as they were curious to find out our practices and experiences.

On the second day, we were working in “World cafés”, trying to figure out best practices on ESL in various and constantly changing groups. It was very Scandinavian: discussing, listening, discussing more, giving and getting ideas.

In all, the seminar was a positive experience (if you don’t count the prices in Norway, that is…) and a prime example of Scandinavian language-mixing and co-operation, perfectly situated on a picturesque, natural environment. That is Norway.

Sincerely yours,

Up on the Holmenkollen. In the middle is part of the ski-jumping hill.

View from the terrace of the conference center. I've seen worse places...

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