Arts Pedagogy: A partnership between Greenland and Finland
Greenlandic guests from the University of Greenland’s Institute of Learning visited, for the first time, the Arts Academy of Turku University of Applied Sciences on 5–9 November 2018.
Text and photo: Ohto Lankila
Two Greenlandic arts pedagogy teachers, Ivaaq Kriegel and Ivalo Abelsen, and two students Ane Sofie Løvstrøm and Navarana Kristensen, both of whom are studying to become classroom teachers with a focus on arts and language at the Institute of Learning, have been on a reciprocal study visit and exchange of expertise at the Arts Academy.
"We have been visiting Finnish universities, primary schools and museums during our visit here in Turku. We also went to see a puppet theatre performance, observed dance technique classes at the Arts Academy, and visited the Turku Castle, which was cool", says Ane Sofie Løvstrøm.
At the University of Greenland’s Institute of Learning, the curricula balances traditional and contemporary theories and methods, while developing digital learning tools in the context of arts pedagogy. Kriegel and Kristensen have co-designed an iPad app to help with teaching. Teachers and students are researching and making these digital tools for teaching in the future.
"We have been learning about how they teach and do things here in Finland, and maybe we can implement the things we have learned in our education as well", says Ivaaq Kreigel.
One of the main points is that the digital technology that Kriegel and Kristensen have developed uses the Greenlandic native language instead of Danish.
"It is important to keep the language alive and it is much easier for children to understand the teaching if we use the Greenlandic language", says Navarana Kristensen.
Night of the Arts Academy piques interests
The Night of the Arts Academy event interests and fascinates our Greenlandic friends. This interview took place in the afternoon prior to the Night of the Arts Academy, and Ivaaq Kriegel was eagerly looking forward to the evening.
"This event is something we could specifically try in Greenland as well. There will be so much to learn in the event and many shows to watch, and I hope to bring some of the ideas back to Greenland", says Kriegel.
The Night of Arts Academy is a yearly event organized and executed by Turku Arts Academy’s students. The event gives the public in the Turku area the opportunity to attend the students' performances: dance, circus, plays and music. There are also exhibitions featuring movies, art and more.
"It has been our first visit to Turku and we have enjoyed it a lot. It is always nice to see how we use art to learn and teach something and it would be nice to work with the Finnish universities also in future", says Kriegel.
Visit was a unique opportunity
The visit is supported in part by the NORDPLUS for Higher Education’s Explorations and Collaborations in the Arts / ECA Network, coordinated by TUAS Senior Music Lecturer, David Yoken. During the visit, the main theme has been to share ideas about applied arts pedagogy and future cooperation between the two institutions.
"This week has been a unique opportunity to share our thoughts about the arts and the ways we can exchange pedagogical ideas of mutual interest. At the same time, we have discussed how digital technology can be implemented in a functional or applied manner that supports the embodied and physical sense of teaching that is so essential to the arts’ learning environment", says Yoken.
A separate NORDPLUS Horizontal Network called the Creative Environmental Education, CEE Network project, which focuses on Nordic and Baltic environmental arts education for school children, also led by Yoken had a partners’ meeting in Nuuk, Greenland.
This past October Yoken, along with Arts Academy’s dance, theatre and media students Emma Keitilä, Anniina Ukkonen, Maija Raikamo and Tiina Rastiola and TUAS Energy and Environmental Engineering student Eetu Simpanen, joined the CEE Network partners from Latvia, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland, hosted by their CEE Partners at the University of Greenland.