GINTL’s thematic session at the 2022 JoLII Conference

Sharing experiences of Sino-Finnish collaboration in education


Author Olli-Pekka Malinen and Jenny Shuanghong Niu

TopicsBlog posts & articles, GINTL-funded projects, Other

At this year’s Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute (JoLII) Conference, GINTL had the pleasure of hosting a thematic session by the Global Innovation Network for Teaching and Learning (GINTL)’s China coordination, on the topic of ‘Sino-Finnish collaboration in teaching, learning and teacher education’. This session was built up of three presentations, each from a different GINTL-funded initiative, with afterwards a panel discussion by the presenters as well as additional discussants. The session was chaired by Dr. Olli-Pekka Malinen from the GINTL China Coordination at the University of Helsinki.

Sino-Finnish collaboration in teaching, learning and teacher education

The Global Innovation Network for Teaching and Learning (GINTL) China coordination hosted a thematic session titled ‘Sino-Finnish collaboration in teaching, learning and teacher education’ in the Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute (JoLII) Conference that was organized virtually on 28-29 November 2022. The GINTL thematic group featured three presentations from GINTL-funded initiatives, followed by a panel discussion by the presenters as well as additional discussants.

The session itself: A variation of perspectives

The session’s first presentation was held by Dr. Shuanghong Jenny Niu from the University of Helsinki. Niu’s presentation, titled ‘Experience and Learning Sharing from GINTL Finnish Early Childhood Education Webinars Project’, shared her experiences with a webinar series on the Finnish Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) System. This series of five webinars focused on the Finnish early childhood education and care system, pedagogy, and teacher education as key elements ensuring equitability and high-quality early childhood education. The webinars were organized in March, April and May 2022 with over 620 participants from China, Finland, and several other countries. According to Niu, the most crucial elements for this project’s success were the collaboration, communication, and strong commitment shown by all collaborating partners. 

The second presentation was held by Associate Professor Xin Tang from Shanghai Jiao Tong University under the title of ‘Reflections on the GINTL Seed-funded School Burnout Initiative’. This multidisciplinary GINTL-funded initiative focused on the co-creation of a digital solution to address school burnout. The organizers hosted an international school burnout seminar featuring scholars and practitioners from the areas of educational sciences, school and health psychology, design science, and educational technology. The seminar attracted over 300 registrations from 70 institutes around the globe. In addition to the seminar, the initiative representatives developed a survey to measure teachers’ and students’ levels of burnout and collected data to support future product design. Tang reflected that the initiative greatly benefitted from existing Sino-Finnish partnerships, which were used as a foundation in extending the collaboration. He also mentioned that a good way to build trustworthy partnerships is to start with a few partners who already have some previous experience of working together, to then extend the network to other partners. 

The third presentation was held by Professor Mari Tervaniemi and Doctoral Researcher Peixin Nie from the University of Helsinki. Their presentation, titled ‘Auditory Neurocognition and Learning – Implications for Learning Practices: Music to promote neurocognitive development’, discussed another GINTL-funded initiative – one which aimed to analyse and report empirical evidence about the effects of music versus foreign language learning on the children’s neurocognitive development. The data used in the initiative were collected by means of collaboration between the University of Helsinki and Beijing Normal University. With funding from GINTL, the initiative was able to take one step closer to the completion of the goals that characterise the Sino-Finnish collaborative project. 

After these presentations, the presenters and three additional discussants – Doctoral Researcher Xiaoxu Liu from the University of Helsinki, University Lecturer Haiqin Liu from Åbo Akademi University, and University Lecturer Heidi Layne from the University of Jyväskylä – continued the session with a panel discussion. This further discussion of the topics at hand addressed some key questions on how to successfully build and sustain research and education collaboration between Finland and China. The discussants shared their views on topics such as efficient student involvement in Sino-Finnish collaboration, different understandings of multicultural education in Finland and China, and the challenges and opportunities that arise from the collection and usage of data from both China and Finland.

Expanding expertise

GINTL’s thematic session on Sino-Finnish collaboration in teaching, learning and teacher education allowed for 30 participants to join the contributors’ discussions on their own key ingredients for building meaningful Sino-Finnish collaborations. In the future, the GINTL China coordination will continue to create similar spaces for sharing experiences, expertise, and partnerships. 

The authors

Olli-Pekka Malinen
Regional Expert (China), Global Innovation Network for Teaching and Learning (GINTL)

Jenny Shuanghong Niu
Postdoctoral Researcher, Global Network for Teaching and Learning (GINTL)

Members of our network

We are a network of dedicated scholars and practitioners, who work jointly with our partners to co-create research-based solutions for local needs.

Together, we can spark cycles of learning for better education. 

Project coordinators

GINTL Finnish higher education institutions