7. huhtikuuta 2016

TAMK´s pilot on teaching and facilitation practice with asylum seekers by Sirkka and Outi (7 credits)

Due international conflicts more than a million migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe in 2015. Finland is also facing new challenges and opportunities with international immigration and asylum seekers.  Finland received nearly ten times more asylum seekers in 2015 than in 2014, the total amount of asylum seekers in 2015 was 32 476 persons. Many asylum seekers come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Somalia to Finland.

We think this TAMK`s pilot teaching  practice with asylum seekers in the cooperation with Immigration Info Centre, MAINIO, City of Tampere, has been actual,  useful and interesting experience in many ways.  The teaching training lessons included 20 hours on Finnish society and culture for asylum seekers. We particularly appreciated flexibility to build- up lessons based on our own previous experiences and knowledge on immigrants’ integration process in Finland.

We decided to organise our lessons in English at MAINIO´s office so we could have direct communication and contact with students with a cup of coffee and tea. We had a good interactive dialogue with students and they were active with many practical questions and comments during our lessons and study visits to Metso library and Recruitment Fair in Tampere Exhibition Centre. Furthermore, we felt that we were mutually learning from each other’s´ cultures by sharing experiences and stories during the lessons. In our final teaching practice lesson on food and tasting, we had a possibility to taste delicious Afghanistan food prepared by our students and enjoy Afghanistan song. This was really unique evening!

We think that this teaching experience with asylum seekers has improved our understanding and knowledge on asylum seekers´ challenges and possibilities in Finland. Successful integration process in the society is always two way learning process with many factors involved. Furthermore, people with diverse cultures can it´s best enrich and contribute to the creativity and economic development in the society. 

We wanted to thank you our students, supervising teachers Kristiina Teiss, MAINIO and Kosti Nivalainen, TAMK  as well all Vocational Education Course teacher training observers on their cooperation and constructive feedback and comments concerning our teaching training lessons.

With kind regards

Sirkka Siikamäki and Outi Mäntylä Baeza

Photos by Sirkka:

1. Recruitment Fair visit in February 2016
2. Food and tasting lesson in March 2016
3. F
ood and tasting lesson in March 2016

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