A Journey of Exploration
The Tan Thoi Dai Education System delegation from Vietnam, representing eight diverse campuses spanning preschool, kindergarten, and primary school levels, recently visited Finland on a profound study tour. Their journey encompassed a rich tapestry of experiences, including comprehensive training sessions, enlightening observations, visits to various schools, and engaging discussions with experts in the field of education.
We have full confidence that this visit is underpinned by a solid foundation, enriched by the extensive Fun Learning training conducted over the past several years, both online and on-site in Vietnam. This unique opportunity to benchmark Finnish educational solutions will undoubtedly fortify the TTD Fun Academy educational system. It aligns seamlessly with our shared commitment to further Fun Learning implementation in Vietnam, including the ongoing establishment of the Fun Learning Center, which is in its final stages of development, poised to benefit a wider audience.
The Fun Learning Approach as a Collaborative Odyssey
At Fun Academy, we uphold the Fun Learning approach as an inclusive and ever-evolving educational paradigm. Our philosophy is rooted in the idea of a dynamic ecosystem where all stakeholders, including teachers, children, and parents, play an active role in setting goals, engaging in reflection, experimenting with new approaches, and continuously evaluating progress. The cornerstone of this approach is to nurture children as lifelong learners, a mission that necessitates educators to serve as role models for such a mindset.
Navigating the Curriculum Landscape
Every school operates within the framework of a curriculum, a structured outline of what students are expected to learn at specific ages. While we acknowledge that we cannot overhaul curriculum specifications due to cultural and practical constraints, we are committed to instigating change one step at a time.
Our vision includes mixed-age classrooms with whole-day pedagogy and an emphasis on small group work. We advocate for a more flexible approach to age-based objectives, where individual students can progress at their own pace. We envision students actively participating in the learning process, from planning and implementation to the evaluation of both the learning and the process itself.
Professional Development is the Real Catalyst for Change
The journey towards this vision begins with the professional development of our educators—individuals who are not only willing but excited to embrace continuous growth, confront change, and explore new horizons.
Once our teachers are acquainted with the principles of Fun Learning, we continue by helping them map the local curriculum to align with essential life skills. This process empowers teachers to design learning experiences that bridge academic knowledge with crucial future skills essential for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Three Pillars of Fun Learning: Environment, Student, and Teacher
Our approach hinges on harmonizing three vital aspects: the environment, the student, and the teacher (and other adults). It's imperative that all three elements move in unison, steering in the same direction towards the common goal. We do not dictate the curriculum from the sidelines. Instead, we work collaboratively to create an environment and materials that not only feel culturally relevant but also serve as the foundation for skill development and objective achievement— all under the Fun Learning umbrella.
Planning: A Key Responsibility of Educators
A crucial facet of Fun Learning training is the planning phase, following the identification of objectives. Our well-trained educators are tasked with the vital role of delivering meaningful learning opportunities. Their commitment to this mission is significantly more effective when they have actively participated in the design process.
We draw inspiration from the Finnish curriculum for early childhood education, which offers minimal rigid instructions, trusting teachers to make informed decisions regarding environment setup and tailored learning opportunities for their unique student cohorts.
Empowerment, Responsibility, and Trust
Our message to educators is clear: Connect Fun Learning principles (read more) to your curriculum, map it against essential life skills, and be ready to shoulder the responsibility. Trust and believe in your students, foster a supportive and nurturing environment, and engage them in three distinct types of play (read more) that promote well-being and natural, effective learning. Respect childhood as an important and pivotal period in life to be enjoyed, not just as a preparation phase for the future.
Drawing the Map Together
In the world of Fun Learning, we don't hand you a pre-made map; instead, we provide you with the tools and guidance to draw your own. We encourage you to embrace this journey with an open heart and mind, ready to explore, innovate, and inspire. Together, we can redefine education, one step at a time.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to TTD Fun Academy Kindergarten and the other departments of the TTD system for being steadfast companions on this transformative path, supporting the growth and development of their teachers and providing children with an increasingly enriching learning environment. Your dedication continues to inspire us.
Illustration: A treasure map illustrated by a three-year-old Fun Learning student 😁
Photos: Taken on a Tan Thoi Day Fun Academy campus in Hanoi and a Finnish kindergarten following the Fun Learning approach, credits Fun Academy