Estonia fosters school advancement with an innovative programme

On 15 May 2024, the first graduation event of the school development programme was held, marking the end of a three-year initiative by Tallinn University and the Estonian Agency for Quality in Education (HAKA). This year, the programme saw its first five pilot schools graduate.

The school development programme supports schools in setting learner-centred goals, implementing activities, and assessing their impact. It provides schools with comprehensive, evidence-based, and learner-centred development support, fostering a collaborative organisational culture over an extended period.

At the graduation event, school teams, mentors, and university representatives reflected on the lessons learned and outcomes. Key insights included:

  • The primary goal is to change school culture to create a learning and teaching environment that supports learner development.
  • Teacher learning is crucial for significant changes at the classroom level.
  • Teaching and using research-based tools is essential.
  • Schools should be guided towards self-learning (data perspective).

Heli Mattisen, director of HAKA, highlighted the positive changes in school culture. “It was a genuine and pleasant surprise that the shift in school culture has already occurred, and this change is sustainable – no matter what new topics they pursue,” she said, reflecting on the experiences of the schools involved in the programme.

More details about the programme and its activities can be found on the HAKA website.


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