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Learning by Doing week started

Funded by Sitra, 29 primary schools throughout Finland will participate in the project.


The national technology week for the young entitled Learning by Doing (Tekemällä oppii) began in Ylivieska on Monday 29 October. Funded by Sitra, 29 primary schools throughout Finland will participate in the project. In the Learning by Doing workshops schoolchildren will have the opportunity to utilise their technology skills under the supervision of teachers specialising in technology education. During the week, the project will reach hundreds of pupils and their teachers.

The Learning by Doing week will encourage children and teenagers, as well as their teachers, to think and work creatively and innovatively. There is currently a lively debate on teaching manual skills in schools. The aim is now to also focus on technology education and provide fresh ideas and models for how to carry it out in practice.

“As part of its 40th anniversary year celebrations, Sitra wants to support as diverse education and learning as possible for Finnish children and young people,” says Esko Aho, the president of Sitra. “The Technology Education NOW! project, run by the University of Oulu and now the national technology week have been particularly successful in strengthening schoolchildren’s skills on both a national and local level.”

Esko Aho emphasises that the Finnish school system is highly successful by all international standards. “Tests and grades are not the problem,” Aho says. “The greatest challenge for our system is to identify each child’s personal strengths and characteristics and take them into account in teaching and evaluation. We should strive towards reducing the risk of marginalisation that arises from children’s different temperaments. In this respect, manual skill and learning by doing provide excellent tools for increasing children’s school motivation and supporting their school performance.”

The Learning by Doing week is based on the long-standing research and development of technology education carried out by the Oulu Southern Institute of the University of Oulu. The national Technology Education NOW! project promotes technology education in primary schools. The goal is to educate children to understand, value and develop further the man-made environment, that is, technology. The project develops the content and methods of technology education, as well as meaningful material and tools for technology education.

“Technology often develops through innovations. Therefore the development of observation and problem-solving skills and encouragement of creativity are also important goals for technology education. In this project, the concept of innovation is taken to the practical level,” says Esa-Matti Järvinen, Research Manager from the Oulu Southern Insitute.

Sitra is funding the national technology week for the young as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations. Sitra wants to encourage children and young people to be innovative, as well as publicise the latest information on technology education for teachers to apply in their classrooms.

Further information

Esa-Matti Järvinen
Research Manager, University of Oulu
tel +358 40 754 8243,

Mervi Porevuo
Development Manager, Sitra
tel. +358 9 618 991 or +358 50 358 3235,

Learning by Doing (Tekemällä oppii) – the national technology week for the young 29.10. -2.11.2007

Participating schools and communities:

Tampere Region: Hämeenkyrö, Tampere, Vesilahti
Central Finland: Hankasalmi, Muurame, Petäjävesi, Uurainen
Lapland: Kemijärvi, Pelkosenniemi, Posio, Salla
Northern Ostrobothnia: Haapavesi, Ii, Kärsämäki, Liminka, Nivala, Pudasjärvi, Pyhäjärvi, Rantsila
Savo: Kuopio, Pieksämäki, Pielavesi
Uusimaa: Espoo, Lohja, Vihti