What began as a partnership between educators in Alberta and Finland has evolved into the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s newest exchange program.
Designed to allow participants to examine ways of improving their schools through collaborative inquiry and development activities, the Transforming Our Schools exchange program is meant for principals, teachers, other school staff and students.
The exchange could include short teaching assignments, job shadowing and student projects focused on addressing shared concerns about creating better schools, explained Association staff officer J-C Couture.
“This exchange program will give principals, teachers and students the chance to expand their knowledge and leadership skills and share exemplary practices across international borders,” he said.
While priority will be given to reciprocal exchanges and must include student involvement, student travel is not mandatory, Couture said.
The program is accepting its first round of applications until June 30 and provides funding to cover travel up to $2,000 per participant, to a maximum of $10,000 per school. The intended length of the exchanges is 7 to 14 days. Participants must find the partner school in Finland and make all required logistical arrangements themselves.
The exchange program evolved out of an Alberta-Finland partnership that was first established in 2011.
“This is another great example of how the ATA and Alberta teachers are leading the way in international co-operation and collaboration to improve the teaching and learning conditions for all teachers and students in Alberta’s classrooms,” said Association President Mark Ramsankar. ❚