Muotiala day-care centre recognised for innovative teaching by the European Commission
Muotiala day-care centre received the European Innovative Teaching Award for its Sustainable future project. The European Innovative Teaching Award is awarded by the European Commission.
This was the third edition of the European Innovative Teaching Award (EITA). Four Finnish Erasmus+ projects were recognised this year, one of which was implemented by the Muotiala day-care centre in Tampere.
Muotiala day-care centre coordinates the Sustainable future - learning from life to life! project in Finland. The project also involved Kämmenniemi day-care centre from Tampere.
"Equally good work has been carried out at Kämmenniemi for quite some time," says Leena Laine, Director of the Muotiala day-care centre.
Message to children: you can have an impact on the future
Muotiala day-care centre's project Sustainable future - learning from life to life! was implemented between 2019 and 2022. The theme of the project was sustainable future.
"We wanted to tell the children that they can have an impact on the future, which is why their participation played an important role. We learned how environmental topics can be discussed with children in an age-appropriate way. A sustainable lifestyle is now part of the daily operation of the day-care centres and schools involved," says Leena Laine.
The topic was delved into by dividing the theme into sub-topics, including food education, recycling and sorting, waste disposal and power production, energy saving, water, and climate change.
International cooperation helped enrich ideas
The project promoted innovative learning and international cooperation, evoking new insights for early childhood education and care. Day-care centres and schools from a total of four countries participated in the project.
"We visited each other and followed each other’s teaching. This provided us with different perspectives on sustainable future and new ideas for teaching," says Leena Laine.
"We were instructed by experts and learned from each other. We explored the practices for teaching a sustainable lifestyle used in different countries and received new ideas for teaching the related topics through tangible methods even with the youngest children," Laine says. The entire Muotiala day-care centre community – employees, children and parents included – was actively involved in the project.
"Many of the things we learned have become part of the daily life of our day-care centre. Every year, we learn these things together with new children. We want to convey hope and trust in being able to influence the future, but it requires concrete action and everyday choices from us all," Leena Laine says.
EITA awarded to a total of four Finnish institutions
This year, the EITA award will be awarded to 93 European projects. The award highlights the best teaching practices implemented in the Erasmus+ programme.
In addition to the Muotiala day-care centre, the Finnish Erasmus+ projects of Mutala School, Siilinjärvi Upper Secondary School and Seinäjoki Joint Municipal Authority for Education were recognised in 2023.
This year, the themes of the EITA award are education and innovations related to the ongoing European Year of Skills. The themes highlight the introduction of emerging technologies in modern education systems. These include, in particular, artificial intelligence, robotics, coding, programming, virtual reality and entrepreneurship.
The Finnish laureates received their awards on 9 October 2023 at an event organised by the Finnish National Agency for Education.