Anima Educação is a Brazilian education group that runs five higher-education institutions with some 100,000 students across several states in Brazil. Anima’s spirit is rooted in the transformative power of education and a vision of an even better tomorrow for the country. To drive this mission forward, the group commissioned Finland University to develop and deliver a training course for its teachers, 38 of whom have now received course certification. The programme is delivered by experts from the University of Tampere – a member of Finland University.
Pedagogy in context
The course began in August 2017, when several lecturers from the University of Tampere travelled to the city of Belo Horizonte for the introductory module. This was the first of three such visits to Brazil, between which students completed course work and assignments via distance-learning tools, webinars and other online-learning platforms.
“The programme is heavily focused on helping teachers to develop tools that will work in the Brazilian context,” says Finland University project manager Outi Stüber. “This is about changing thinking and methods in ways that support teachers with their local goals.”
“It has been inspiring to see that the teachers are always thinking about the bigger picture for Brazil,” she says. “They want to share their knowledge with others and in this way help to shape changes in society. There is such energy and drive with this kind of spirit.”
As the course participants come from different Anima faculties, they bring different backgrounds. Finland University embraced the strength of this diversity to create multi-disciplinary groups where participants can share experiences and learn from each other. Together the teachers build a supportive pedagogical community, within which they are encouraged to work on developing their own concepts for a specific area of pedagogy.
“The best teacher training I have ever attended.”
Feedback on the Finland University approach has been overwhelmingly positive, with participants appreciating both the course content and the lecturers themselves.
“This was undoubtedly the best teacher training I have ever attended, and I heard the same from many other teachers who attended the course,” says Anima’s Leonardo Drummond Vilaça. “The Finnish lecturers are extremely qualified, and know how to establish a relationship between teachers and students that is based on trust.”
“The content is really well selected and the balance between theory and practice is excellent,” says Vilaça. “We have learned things that we have never done before and that will certainly impact our teaching in a very positive way. It was all incredible!”
Vilaça’s enthusiasm is shared by fellow Anima teacher Inês Barreto de Almeida.
“Anima’s partnership with Finland University has not only brought us excellent content, experiences and teachers, but also takes us closer to the goal of improving education in our country,” she says. “The general feeling among the teachers is excitement for what this means and for what it will help us to achieve.”
Photos: Terhi Skaniakos
Outi Stüber, Project Manager, Finland University, email@example.com
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