by Ulla Virtanen, TAKK
Colleagues in TAKK have had an opportunity to be trained this fall in a unique training programme called Yhdessä oppien or ”Learning Together”. The programme has produced pedagogical solutions, to be directly applied in VET, thus making the way smoother for the immigrant students of TAKK. The name Learning together comes from the theme of co-creating the cross-cultural competence between and with the colleagues for the integration training needs. The needs concern many areas: learning the language, integrating into the society, preparing for the vocational studies and acquiring vocational competence for the working life, including qualifications.
I say unique, because there is a deep understanding of cross-cultural competence behind this programme.
The driver and teacher of the programme, Ms Mari Poikolainen, has drawn insight from anthropology into practice. The series of sessions have followed each other. First (1), Immigrant student in the application phase, second (2), Acquiring the competence in training, third (3), Learning at the workplace and fourth (4), Passing a qualification. The programme has organised sessions, where TAKK trainers have learnt from each other; paving the way for the individual study paths for students of immigrant background; and most of all, have shared the experiences between the integration phase teachers and vocational trainers.
Experience I say, as no matter what and how much you have studied (anthropologist here, too), you can never acquire the competence and understanding before you have lived through and discussed the everyday problems with your colleagues in the same situation. TAKK spirit here certainly helps: Ask, and you will be answered. There are many solutions the knowledgeable trainers have discovered along the way and here – by the coffees and sandwiches – they have been shared.
Thank You, Mari P.