Fall  2019  (See also book club for educators)


Education , Cities, and Society in Finland - an Urban Planner's Point of View

Date: November 7, 2019
Time: 5;30-7:00 pm 
Room: 125 Nolte , East Bank, University of Minnesota

Register here

Please join us for this free workshop on Finnish education's relationship to urban planning  by Government of Finland Government of Finland/David and Nancy Speer Visiting Professor in Finnish Studies, Dr Hanna Mattila.  The Finnish educational system is famous for the outstanding performance of compulsory schools in the international assessments of learning outcomes. However, in addition to learning-related goals, the educational system has served many other purposes in the Finnish welfare state project. In this presentation, Dr. Mattilla will be looking at the Finnish educational system from a perspective of urban and regional studies, identifying how the comprehensive schools have helped the Finns to prevent segregation in cities, and how the Finnish higher education has contributed to the equalization of disparities between regions. Finally, she will be investigating how the Finnish system performs today, both in fostering the learning of individuals and in facilitating equal spatial distribution of welfare.  This free workshop will be open to anyone who is interested in this topic, or who wishes to come find out a little more about the Finland Study Tour, Interruption, Innovation and Inclusion,   which will be summarized at the end of the presentation


Interruption, Innovation and Inclusion: Reducing Inequalities and Expanding Access through Global Education

2019-2020 Special Program

In a time full of increasing nationalism and isolationism, is there anything to be gained by reimagining global education in our schools and exploring educational systems in other countries? This interdisciplinary program centers on Finland, which has developed an institutional capacity for educational success, resulting in one of the lowest achievement gaps worldwide.  The project will create a task force of diverse individuals, driven to interrupt our current educational system, which often perpetuates inequalities and builds barriers for marginalized groups. This task force of K-16 educators, administrators, and community-based organization leaders, facilitated by Deborah Jane at the Institute for Global Studies, and Maddy Wegner from the National Youth Leadership Council, will convene before and after a Spring 2020 field study in Finland. From these experiences, participants will develop global lessons, resources for their content areas, and strategies to reduce barriers and increase access for marginalized groups at their own educational institutions.  These resources and strategies will be shared during a 2 day institute June 16-17 for area educators.  


Important Dates: 

  • December 15, 2019 applications due for consideration to the program.
  • January 16, 2020  (Required) First official meeting of the educators who have been accepted to Interuption, Innovation and Inclusion program.  At this meeting we will be discussing the book.   Finnish Lessons 2.0  What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?  by Pasi Salberg
  • January 30, 2020  program fee of $1600 to be paid in full.
  • March 7, 2020  all day Finnish language, culture and history 
  • March 28-April 4, 2020 field study tour.   See agenda below

Agenda for Field Study

Saturday March 28, 2020.  Arrive in Helsinki and check into Scandic Grand Marina

Sunday March 29, 2020.  Meet up with group to enjoy a city bus tour and welcome lunch and the Loly Sauna

Monday March 30, 2020  Welcome sessions,

  • Meeting with Matti Jutil, Senior Officer, Finnish Non-Discrimination Ombudsman.  The task of the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman is to promote equality and to prevent discrimination Finnish equality legislation which requires every school to draft an equality plan and renew it annually. 
  • Site visit to Helsinki schools
  • Tour award winning Oodi Public Library

Tuesday March 31, 2020.  Train trip to Jarvenpaa  to visit suburban Finnish schools and meet with physical fitness experts to understand how that fits into the Finnish education system.

Wednesday April 1, 2020.   Innovation Day at Aalto University

  • Aiga Elg, a Finnish as a Second Language expert who works with diverse immigrant youth will lead us in site visit with pilot program ´The School as a Service Concept´ that was awarded in the Finnish Quality Innovation Competition. The concept won the series of School Innovations.


Thursday April 2, 2020. Train trip to University of Turku to meet with faculty working on special educational projects.  The project focuses particularly on producing easily approached and practical educational materials for gender and culture sensitive career guidance. The aim is to raise awareness, and to transform the awareness about the gender and culture bias in career guidance into good practices to counteract it. In this project, segregation is approached via an intersectional approach, taking into account the people's multiple social differences and how they jointly constitute social positions.. In order to combat segregation, there is a need for a holistic gender and culture sensitive approach to career guidance. 

Friday April 3, 2020  Sightseeing and cultural day in Helsinki (all museums are free)

Saturday April 4, 2020  Depart


PLACE: University of Minnesota Twin Cities (virtual meeting attendance possible for January and March meetings). 

CEUs: 65

COST: $1600 (includes  international health insurance, daily lodging with own room at Scandic Grand Marina, daily breakfasts, and one welcome lunch, in country travel costs during field study in Finland from March 28-April 4, 2019.  Participants will also be responsible for purchasing their own international air ticket, having a current passport, meal expenses and incidentals during field study.) 

APPLICATION DEADLINE December 15, 2019 (Participants accepted on rolling basis starting September 15, 2019)


Teaching with StoryMaps

DATE:  December 3, 2019

TIME: 5:30-7:30

PLACE : 614 Social Sciences West Bank UMN

COST: $25 (includes resources, parking, dinner) 

CEUs :2

Register here 

StoryMaps are an excellent multimedia platform for students to analyze content in a global context.   Combining maps and spatial information, visuals and narrative, StoryMaps help students create content and communicate in a format other than a paper or another PowerPoint. StoryMaps also provide a forum for practicing second language writing and presentation skills.  We'll learn how to build a simple StoryMap and talk through how to set up assignments for students. 

See some wonderful global story maps here including examples such as Topics in European and Medieval History: Premodern Urban History, The Richest Mountain: Potosí and the Silver Trade, Puerto Rico Blackout,The Tale of a Mediterranean City: Mapping the History of Premodern Carthage and Tunis, The Silk Road. 

Bring your laptop and ArcGIS Online school login, if you have one.  If you do not have one, do not worry! We welcome people who know nothing about ArcGIS -- the new StoryMap builder is very easy to use without any GIS experience.

Workshop facilitated by the Liberal Arts Technologies and Innovation Services

The Haitian Revolution: A Workshop for Educators

DATE: December 2, 2019

TIME: 5:30-7:30

PLACE: 120 Anderson Library

CEUs: 2

COST: $25

Register here

Interested in knowing more about the history of Haiti?  Do you want to use the Haitian Revolution as a case study in your classroom?  During this two hour workshop, Dr Marguerite Ragnow, Curator of the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota, will present a selection of the large collection of original printed and archival materials related to Haiti, from first visit to the island by Europeans through the revolution, including family letters and maps.  Next, following a short dinner break, South High School teacher Abigail Gaul will share her unit on the Haitian Revolution which she developed during the 2018-2019 Institute for Global Studies Global Curriculum Writers program

  • 5:30 pm-5:45 Introductions and welcome (Deborah Jane) 
  • 5:45-6:30  Haiti primary materials (Dr. Marguerite Ragnow)
  • 6:30-6:45 Dinner break
  • 6:45-7:30 The Haitian Revolution (Abby Gaul)