Research and development of learning and the work of teachers

Before we begin, let’s take a look at this video!

As part of the curriculum of Vocational Teacher Education, the vocational teacher-student needs to complete Module 3.5 Research and development of learning and the work of teachers. For this module and assignment, I have chosen a R&D project that I have been working since 2011. Planning and implementing a unique specialisation programme in Culture Export Management. Here are the insights and background information about this project. In spring 2011, HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences Porvoo Campus and ACE Production Ltd. started their cooperation. In autumn 2011, an innovative specialisation programme in Culture Export Management specialisation was born. Jointly the educational institution and the business partner have created a unique specialisation programme in Culture Export Management that is similar to none on a global level! The aim of the 2-year specialisation programme is to train professionals in exporting culture products in the international market.

The specialisation in Culture Export Management is funded by HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences R&D&I. HAAGA-HELIA’s vision and mission clearly states that HAAGA-HELIA UAS prepares experts for the business and service sectors, and engages in R&D&I in chosen focus areas for the benefit of businesses and society.

During the contact Days from 16. – 17.10.2014, we had to present our Development Projects. On October 16, 2014 I presented my Development Project to my fellow classmates, where I presented my plans, implementations and challenges of the CEM project. You can watch the Google+ Hangout On Air below. Feel free to comment or ask your questions, too! 

Additionally, you could follow my Prezi on this link.

Comprehensive assessment

In this part, I give my insights based on the criteria for the assessment of this module which are the following:

The vocational teacher:

  • Describes and assesses the areas of research and development that arise in his/her work and operational environment. ⇒ As already stated in the video in the beginning, areas of research and development have arisen in the operational environment. The concept of Culture Export Management was created by identifying a gap in the education programme offering as well as a need from the practitioners’ field lacking the knowledge and the workplace that is trained to export cultural products and services.
  • Creates solutions that promote learning in collaboration with others and actively participates in the development of his/her work and work community. ⇒ After identifying the need, the Culture Export Management specialisation programme was created to fill the gap and become the solution that professionals found missing
  • Describes and assesses how developments in a professional field impact his/her own actions, professional field and operational environment of education. ⇒ Through constant communication with cultural field stakeholders, feedback from students and developments in education, changes have been made to the two implementations. Despite the successful results in terms of students’ learning, employability, media coverage due to the financial situation in HAAGA-HELIA and budgetary cuts of almost 1million Euros, the Culture Export Management specialisation will cease to exist in the near future. 

My involvement as an inexperienced and non-formally qualified teacher with the planning and implementation of the Culture Export Management specialisation programme shows that my supervisor believed in my abilities to plan a whole specialisation programme of a total of 63 credits. In 2011, apart from being a ‘Teacher’ my work in 2011 was enriched by another dimension that of the Project Coordinator who is planning and coordinating the Culture Export Management specialisation programme.

In recent years, due to severe cuts in public funding for education in Europe and in many countries around the world academic institutions are aiming at alternative sources of funding in order to secure their existence and their operations. This has an impact of the role of the teacher and transforms their work description and selection criteria. Teachers in higher education are highly value, if they are able to plan projects, write funding applications and create synergies with educational institutions and businesses.

This development project that I worked with for the past 3 years has enabled me to learn and grow as a professional educator as well as create synergies with the business community for the benefit of our students and Finland’s national image by exporting Finnish art abroad with the help of the students.


For my planning and research, I used several sources. Additional resources (in Finnish and in English) can be found in the following list:

2 thoughts on “Research and development of learning and the work of teachers

  1. Thanks! In this comment I will not touch upon the Culture Export Management Program as such. Instead I share some thoughts on the following topics, which are important from the point of view of teacher education:
    – Development project reporting
    – Comprehensive assessment

    During the studies I mentioned several times that a 25 page report is not always the best way of spreading the word about a R&D project. You have chosen to report you work in your blog, and I think it is a good choice. I especially want to comment the use of Google Hangout on Air. I have seen your previous Hangout on Air videos, and already then I admired your openness for the challenge of a live broadcast. (which reminds me: on Monday several participants have informed that they cannot attend the contact day, and encouraged by your example I’ll try and make by first direct Hangout on Air!)

    I also like the way in which you pick the competence criteria from the curriculum and reflect your project through that lens. (I would have appreciated, if you also wrote some reflections, which were not directly targeting the school of vocational teacher education criteria, after all, there could be other valuable take-aways. But perhaps I’m just overly curious :). Besides, on the video you discuss also other learning outcomes).

    – Irmeli

  2. Irmeli, thank you for supporting my choice to report via blogging. I’m glad you appreciate my being open to a live broadcast at any time. Transparency rules! Since you are interested and curious to know, the main reflections other than the ones I present in writing and in the video during the presentation, are the fact that stronger cooperation with other colleagues and lobbying within the organisation would be needed in order to achieve continuity. However, due to limited resources and to the fact that despite being a coordinator I ended up teaching and supervising the students’ work which left me with limited time for project planning and development. However, I would like to highlight that support from administration is crucial. Without this support all the amazing results achieved go unnoticed. In this case, the CEM specialisation programme was not even present on our website. It was an experiment that worked to a satisfactory degree but did not receive the necessary support.

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