circular estonia

innovation in education and governance

New developments Jan. – Sept. 2015

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As it has become a tradition, here comes a new post more than half a year after the last one was published. The conclusion: I’m a terrible blogger. But I nevertheless value this space and am once again excited to share some things long overdue.

One of the reasons I have not written much is because I am working now at the Centre for Innovation in Education (CIE) at Tallinn University, which I happened to write about some time ago. Working at CIE has given me a chance to get to know more about all things related to education in Estonia – something I was afraid I will miss out on if I lived abroad.

CIE in Tallinn, alongside a similar but smaller centre in Tartu, was called into existence to help implement the Estonian government’s new educational strategy, which I’ve referred to a number of times in this blog. The CIE is engaged in rethinking teacher training practice, offering additional training to in-service teachers and school leaders, participating in school development projects, engaging with various partners on developing new teaching & learning methods, and overall helping everyone grasp and implement “the new educational paradigm” a little better. It’s not a straightforward task – it requires creativity, experimentation, failed attempts, opposition and criticism, enthusiasm and faith!

What I’ve noticed is that most people are interested in improving our educational systems and practices, many see the need, but the imperative question of how always seems to get in the way. So I find myself reflecting a lot on how systems work, how different organisations/ actors on the educational landscape play a different role, how people understand change, frame problems and opportunities, how and why people cooperate or don’t cooperate too well etc. The most fascinating part is that I am not an outside observer anymore, but very much “in the game”, trying figure out my activities, my relationships with these actors, my role – the small part I could play.

The most amazing thing about all these developments over the past 9 months is that the place I work allows me to pursue the dreams and projects I’ve always wanted to pursue. It’s been like puzzle pieces coming together on so many levels. I wanted to work more with schools, to gain a better understanding of the educational developments in this country (and elsewhere), to better understand how change and reform happen and what real tangible steps contribute to this… And my ‘big agenda’ of better connecting socio-economic development and innovation with learning design/formal education has become an even more concrete project with multiple partners from several countries. Looking back – all my contacts and experiences, including the ‘failed attempts’ from previous years are in use! To top it all off, I just started my Masters degree in comparative and international education (globalisation and educational change) at Lehigh U. and I can already see how much value the opportunity to read and reflect, learn about theory and practice behind educational change, and connect with other students adds to the practical work I do.

Finally, as I am writing this I cannot but mention that I checked the statistics for this blog today and discovered it has hits from all over the world – Brazil, Israel, Malaysia, Chile, Turkey, United States, South Africa, Tunisia, Romania, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Armenia, Peru, Switzerland etc. Fascinating! Although, I feel a bit bad as I really haven’t written much quality content here and the site is still severely underdeveloped! I hope you guys are not too disappointed! ❤

Here I am, visiting a cool school in Tartu, Estonia, with my team. The bench I’m sitting on is quite a work of art!

2015-05-20 10.36.41

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