UArctic TN on Teacher Education organized a panel discussion on the topic “Does arctic pedagogy matter?” as part of the program of the FERA Finnish Educational Research Association Conference on Education, held 30th of November to 1st of December in the University of Lapland, Rovaniemi.
The objective of educational policies and practices is to provide fair, if not equal, opportunities for all learners. However, the Arctic areas pose a unique challenge for educators to achieve these conditions. This is not only due to their geographical location, but also due to the cultural background of the people. Providing education in remote areas possibly outside of the classroom, to a diverse group of students, many of whom are indigenous, requires innovative pedagogical approaches and oftentimes, participatory practices. Under these circumstances, Arctic pedagogy aims to promote the knowledge of the significance of social learning, inclusion and community-based education. On the other hand, pedagogical models are constantly developed towards more multimodal and digital learning environments. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate and investigate the necessity for Arctic pedagogy, and see the directions in which Arctic pedagogy should be evolved and improved.
The panel discussion, with experts in the field of Arctic and indigenous pedagogies from around the world, provided invaluable insights and a wonderful opportunity to discuss the issue of Arctic pedagogy from different points of view. Dr. Jennifer Spratt opened the discussion on the topic of the special issues of the Arctic, and Professor Kirk Anderson continued by describing the particular matters and thought-provoking history of the indigenous people in Northern Canada. This was followed by Dr. Tuomo Suhonen, who discussed the interesting issues of statistics and distances in the North, and their effect on school and career choices. Professor Pigga Keskitalo, being an expert in indigenous and Arctic pedagogies, talked about these pedagogical approaches particularities, and professor Päivi Rasi talked about the Arctic pedagogy and how digital tools can be used in developing the pedagogies for the benefit of the teachers and learners in the North. It was obvious that the audience would have liked to hear and discuss more with the experts, but due to time constraints, Dr Spratt brought the discussion to end, leaving all those present wishing to have an opportunity to hear more about the special subject of the North.
Photo: The panel chair Jennifer Spratt from the University of Aberdeen, UK.
Photo: The consistence of the panel from left to right: Kirk Anderson, University of Manitoba (CA), Tuomo Suhonen, VATT Institute for Economic Research, the chair Jennifer Spratt, Pigga Keskitalo, The Sami University of Applied Sciences (NOR), and Päivi Rasi, University of Lapland (FI).