Introducing Finnish early education to Japanese students

​Laurea held an intensive week in social services for a group of students from Hyogo University in Japan. During the week, the 16 students and three professors learned about Finnish early education and tuition in social services.

The students were from the degree programme in early childhood education at the private Hyogo University. During the intensive week, senior lecturers in social services Annika Kultavirta and Virpi Lund presented the Finnish education system, day care and early education model and teaching in the field of social services to the group.

The Japanese students also gained practical experiences of Finnish early education by visiting two day care centres in Espoo on 5–6 March. During the visits, the students were particularly interested in the furniture, interior decor, tools and teaching materials, as well as the work of early childhood teachers. According to the students, it was interesting to note that the individual needs of the children and special support needs were recorded in the early education plan.

The Japanese guests spent their third day at the Otaniemi campus with Social Services students from Laurea. A group of children from the nearby day care centre came to visit the campus, and the Laurea students gave them an instructed sports lesson.
In the afternoon, the Japanese students introduced Japanese games, songs and the skill of origami to their hosts.

This was the second group of Japanese students from Hyogo University to visit Laurea. The first intensive week of this kind was held in 2016.

Professor Saito Masatoshi from Hyogo University was satisfied with the outcome of the week after the closing and feedback session, which was held on Wednesday afternoon.

- Moomins and Marimekko were the only things many of our students knew about Finland before the trip, but they learned a lot in just three days, said Professor Masatoshi in his closing speech in Finnish.
- As a teacher, I’m happy about all the valuable experiences our students gained in Finland.

In their own feedback, the Japanese students characterised Finns as polite and helpful. They had made observations on the differences between Finnish and Japanese day care centres: in Finland, the children play more freely, with less supervision by instructors. The guests also marveled at the role of nature in teaching and the use of forests as learning environments in early education.

For further information, please contact:

Virpi Lund, Senior Lecturer,

Modified 3/13/2018 12:42 PM

​Participants of the intensive week at Laurea Otaniemi campus.