Two successful education events in Istanbul: Finnish excellence in education raises interest in Turkey

20-06-2016 Two successful education events in Istanbul: Finnish excellence in education raises interest in Turkey Finnish education landed in Turkey at the beginning of June 2016. Turkish educators and other interested parties met Finnish providers of education in two successful education events in Istanbul, and many fruitful meetings were held.
Interesting panel “Learning of Tomorrow” by Mr. Topi Litmanen, Ms. Maarit Rossi, Mr. Selçuk Özdemir and Mr. Mustafa Özcan (from the left).
The audience had a chance to network with the Finnish experts after the seminar.
Ms. Nina Vaskunlahti (on left), Ambassador of Finland to Turkey gave welcoming remarks at the seminar. Here with Riikka and Tuomo Meretniemi, who will educate their three children by utilizing Finnish educational tools while sailing around the world for six years. (Image: Arto Mankinen)
Maarit Rossi with maths teachers at the seminar in Eyüboğlu Educational Institutions: demonstrating learning methods
At the Eyüboğlu Educational Institutions: Maarit Rossi familiarizing with Turkish teaching methods

On June 1st, 2016 a Turkish-Finnish co-operation education seminar was arranged at the Bahcesehir University in Istanbul. The event, arranged by Finpro's Education Export Finland in co-operation with the Finnish Embassy in Ankara, hosted nearly 140 participants interested in hearing what are the ingredients of Finnish education, insights of the future of education and considerations on how the Finnish model could be localized to Turkey.


The seminar program included a panel discussion “Learning of Tomorrow”, in which Ms. Maarit Rossi, Founder & Chair, Paths to Math and Mr. Topi Litmanen, PhD, Chief Educational Scientist, Claned Group from Finland shed a light to the Finland’s successful PISA results, told about the new Finnish phenomena-based National Curriculum and explained how Finnish children have become active learners instead of passive receivers of education.  Mr. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Özcan, Dean of Education Faculty, MEF University and Mr. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Selçuk Özdemir, CEIT at Gazi University, Bilisim Garaj Akademisi brought the Turkish insights and knowledge to the discussion.


After the seminar, the sun was shining from the bright sky at the roof terrace of the Bahcesehir University where the Turkish audience and Finnish companies - Claned, EDUfinn, ISKU, KOULU Group, Paths to Math and Petra's Planet – were networking and finding the best ways to start co-operation.

Sail for Good Education - making Finnish educational expertise internationally available

Many seminar participants were keen to hear how the Finnish Meretniemi family will educate their three children when sailing around the world for six years. At the event, Tuomo and Riikka Meretniemi, father and mother of the family told how a unique digital school is created onboard the boat. According to Tuomo Meretniemi the idea of combining a voyage around the world and education export arose from the need to solve the children's education; during the six-year voyage, the children would be aged 4–14, in other words, of school age.


–However, we quickly understood that the challenges of the digital era we were trying to solve were the same that schools around the world were dealing with. Finland has top expertise in education, technology and innovations, and we can make this expertise available globally during our journey, states Meretniemi.


The Meretniemi family started their Sail for Good Education journey on June 13 from Finike, Turkey.

Maarit Rossi, Top10 Teacher in the World inspiring maths teachers

On June 2nd around 300 enthusiastic mathematics teachers gathered to the auditorium of Eyüboğlu Educational Institutions to hear Maarit Rossi’s ideas and knowledge on how to make mathematics meaningful, stimulating and fun. Maarit Rossi definitely knows how to do it. She is a mathematics teacher who was among top ten finalists for the Global Teacher Prize this year. Also, her school in Finland consistently ranks above average in Finnish PISA and national maths tests, which is excellent result, since Finland is overall consecutively ranked as one of the global leaders in OECD’s PISA studies.

Maarit Rossi captivated her audience not only by describing her teaching methods and showing photos of her motivated pupils, but also by demonstrating her methods with two of the teachers from the audience.  

The event was organized by the Turkish Private Schools Association. Mr. Nurullah Dal, Vice President of the Turkish Private Schools Association says that education system in Turkey has a lot to learn from the Finnish system. Now would be the time to adapt something good from Finland to Turkey.


"Private school system has talked about this for 5-10 years, but we are finally ready to take practical steps in this issue," Dal states.