We are on a learning journey to Finland in April 2019



Pasi Salberg has been influential on our thinking at Holy Family for a number of years. It’s hard to know which came first. Is it that his thoughts were new? Or is that we liked what he was saying and that it correlated with our major influences and resonated with our experience? It’s probably a bit of both as Pasi provided new insights which were congruent with our major themes.

We have always been high on trust. It’s almost strategic in that we believe that children are intelligent, capable citizens from birth and that they each possess “100 Languages”. Hence, we want our teachers to trust in the children and give them agency. Accordingly, we must do the same for teachers. As we deal with increasingly complex issues we loosen the grip because we know that under pressure people panic and don’t give of their best. We know that everything begins and continues with relationship so we reserve judgement and do not burn bridges with anyone. There is a pervading sense of fun and delight in learning which people find palpable. However, the search for new ideas goes on. We are relentless in our quest for new understandings and new relationships.

Last year Adam and I re-connected with Pasi in Sydney at the ACEL Conference. Subsequently, a large group of our staff worked with Pasi in Adelaide for the day. Consequently, we are curious to learn more about Finland’s social support of families and their education system. We expressed an interest in visiting to see first-hand how things are done in Finland. Pasi introduced us to his colleague  Mikko Salonen and now we are on the road to Helsinki.

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