Friday, April 26, 2013

Final images and thoughts

Sadly, my time in Suomi is nearly over. I want to share a few final, somewhat random images.
First, my office mate in Viveca 549, Mr. William Nketsia.  William is a doctoral student from Ghana working on a dissertation regarding inclusive education--strategies for including special needs students into regular classrooms.  William lent me his bicycle for which I will always be grateful.

On my way home I visited the art museum one last time. Remember, the theme is the convergence of art and science. Here are some of my favorite images created on cell phones:

Not only are the images interesting in both media and theme, some of the installations are quite humorous!  For example:

Here's the WC:)

Recall that I posted a picture of an "instant cafe" when the weather warmed up for a couple days. While we get sunny spells now, the weather is more rainy and cold than sunny and warm, so....

The cafe disappeared; it will return when the weather invites being outside again.

Finally, here's a peek at a secondary school English class in the computer lab.  The reasons why Finnish schools are so successful, I learned, are incredibly complex, tied not only to teacher training and formation practices, and pedagogies, but also the profoundly different cultural values the Finns live with each day.  As a consequence, the foci of my study of instructional communication must broaden to include the cultural frame in which the observable instructional interactions take place. This also leads me to believe even more that US policies of increasing testing, infusion of technology, and surveillance of teachers completely blocks our inclusion of cultural values as a factor in local educational contexts. Basil Bernstein said that, "Education cannot make up for society." True. And that idea can be read in reverse: society (read "culture") can augment education, as I believe it does in Finland. Also, society can inhibit, limit, diminish the process of education. This idea we never discuss in the US. These images could be of almost any 8th grade class in the US at any moment. What matters most in these classrooms is not visible--communication codes, cultural values--and that's what our research needs to make visible so we can do well by our children. 

Now, off to London!  Kiitos paljan, Suomi!


  1. Thank you for sharing! I've Ben following your post and I am happy to read that culture plays that role. It justifies even more the inclusion if habitus in new research. We talked about you in graduate class. We talked about values and culture and instruction with CMC. Happy trip to London!

  2. Sorry for the cell phone like typing... It was actually typed on the small screen with my thumbs.