Yrityskylä learning environment

Completed project June 2017-January 2020

We integrated the circular economy into the study modules of Yrityskylä Primary School and Yrityskylä Secondary School. The project made the circular economy a permanent part of Yrityskylä’s activities.

What was it about?

The project was part of the education package Circular economy teaching for all levels of education, implemented in between 2017 and 2019. Sitra’s vision was that all graduates should understand what the circular economy means for their work and everyday lives and what kinds of decisions and actions they can take to promote the circular economy. The aim was to increase circular economy expertise in Finland by extensive development of circular economy teaching, materials, concepts and co-operation that examine the matters from various perspectives for all levels of education. More than 50 educational institutions, teaching organisations and companies participated in the study module.

Economy and youth TAT (in Finnish) began its circular economy work in autumn 2017, supported by Sitra. At that point, the goal was formulated to be the integration of the circular economy into the teaching of financial and working-life skills. The intention was to make pupils question our current unsustainable lifestyle by acquainting them with the circular economy. Furthermore, the project aimed to increase the awareness of pupils of the limited amount and economic importance of natural resources. The purpose of the joint project between the Economic Information Office TAT and Sitra was to integrate the circular economy into the Yrityskylä learning module.

Yrityskylä is a study module on the economy, society, working life and entrepreneurship, targeted at grades six and nine of comprehensive school (12 and 15 years old). Yrityskylä, named as the world’s best education innovation, is based on the Finnish core curriculum. The aim of Yrityskylä is to enable pupils to gain an understanding of the pillars of a sustainable society and to perceive sharing, using and circulating services as part of the operation of the economy.

What was achieved?

During the project, the circular economy was integrated into the learning targets and modules of Yrityskylä Primary School and Yrityskylä Secondary School. For the 2018-2019 school year, the material preparing educational institutions for a visit to the Yrityskylä learning environment was completely renewed by giving more visibility to the circular economy in particular. The students became acquainted with the significance of natural resources for the economy, and the definition and business models of the circular economy.

In 2019, Yrityskylä reached almost 77,000 learners. Furthermore, TAT provided circular economy training and orientation to more than 1,000 teachers and introduced its entire staff to the circular economy. During the project, animated films about the circular economy were also produced to support teaching. The videos are freely available on TAT’s YouTube channel (in Finnish). In addition, podcasts with circular economy themes were produced for TAT’s #puhurahasta (#talkaboutmoney) and Puhu työstä (Talk about work) (in Finnish) series, which teachers can use as part of their teaching.

The theme for the 2019-2020 school year is the circular economy, which has become a permanent part of Yrityskylä’s activities. The circular economy expert who worked on the project will continue in his/her task after the project has ended. More information on Yrityskylä and its inclusion in teaching can be found on the Yrityskylä website: www.yrityskyla.fi.

Who participated?

Yrityskylä was developed by Economy and youth TAT (in Finnish). Sitra funded the project, and the project managers at Sitra were Riitta Silvennoinen and Nani Pajunen.

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