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Teaching and teaching practice in the faculty of Educational Sciences for the exceptional situation
The students who have signed up for teaching practices this spring, have been informed via e-mail on Friday April 3rd about the different solutions for completing their practice.
The Faculty members who are responsible for the teaching practices have today (April 1st) discussed different alternative options for completing the teaching practices. The preparations continue. Students who had signed up for the practices will be informed on Friday April 3rd about the solutions which will secure the students’ graduation in spring 2020.
24.3.2020 (translation added 27.3.)
In the Faculty of Educational Sciences the solutions for arranging the teaching practices during the spring and / or next autumn are being discussed. The interruption of the teaching practices applies to about 600 students in the Faculty. When interrupted, the practice periods were at different phases. Please follow the information that will be updated on this webpage. The exact instructions can be given only after sufficient charting of the situation.
20.3.2020 Questions and answers about the teaching practices (translation added 27.3.)
Here you can find frequently asked questions and answers about how the coronavirus affects studies, especially the teaching practices.
1) Why can’t I complete my practice with distance studies?
We are living in an exceptional situation as in addition to schools, the University is closed as well. This is why the Faculty has decided to interrupt all practices. In total around 600 students are conducting their teaching practices this spring and we do not have the resources or the possibility to agree upon different completion methods so that we could also ensure an equal treatment to all students. It is also vital to protect the practice mentors’ strengths and wellbeing as they are also facing a new kind of a situation and it is consuming for them to arrange distance teaching for their students. We hope that our practices can continue as soon as the exceptional situation is over. In the light of the current information that could be 14.4.2020.
The Finnish government has strongly recommended to avoid all close contacts and movement. The Faculty of Educational Sciences also follows these recommendations. Organising distance teaching might require the student to move to the school or day-care centre.
2) Can the student observe the distance lessons held by the mentor, even if they can not hold distance lessons themselves?
The Faculty of Educational Sciences has decided that all teaching practices have been interrupted in their all forms. We wish to ensure equal standing for all of our students. Inequality might occur for instance due to the technical arrangements of observing distance teaching in different day-care centres, schools, subjects and classrooms.
3) My practice includes tasks which do not require guidance from the mentor/contact with the students or other student-teachers. Can I continue doing these assignments?
Yes, you can continue any independent work included in the practice.
4) Can I act as a substitute in my practice school/day-care centre during the exceptional situation?
You may help and substitute, but it does not count towards your practice. These arrangements are completely separate from the practice and hence you must agree them with the school/day-care centre.
5) I should graduate within the transition period. Will I complete my practice in time for that?
The transition period has been extended to December. When the practice will be completed, the students who would have graduated after the practice will be the priority.
6) (This question is only relevant for the Finnish speaking students as it concerns application to a study programme which is in Finnish and hence it will not be translated.) Aikomukseni on hakea varhaiskasvatuksen maisteriohjelmaan, mikä tarkoittaa, että harjoittelusta pitäisi saada suoritusmerkintä 31.5.2020 mennessä. Mitä nyt tapahtuu, kun en pääse aloittamaan harjoittelua?
Tähän on vaikea vielä vastata, kun ei tiedetä, voiko harjoittelun suorittaa vielä kevään aikana.
7) My study grant/study leave/education allowance will end this spring. I can not continue my practice in the fall due to financial reasons. What should I do?
You should contact the administrator of the grant/leave/allowance. This exceptional situation concerns the entire nation and the University can not affect it.
8) Can the practice be conducted in any other way than teaching in a school/day-care centre?
The primary way to complete the practice will be continuing the practice, as the learning goals will not be entirely met in alternative methods of completion. The practice in its nature requires practical action in the practice place.
9) How should I document my practice assignments so far?
You can document the assignments you have conducted in any way you prefer. The most important thing is that you mark down all observations, taught lessons and other assignments you have done before the interruption. Send this document to your mentor so that you share the same understanding of where you should continue your practice when it is possible.
10) I did not start my practice at all because I am in the risk group/I was afraid of getting infected at the school/I was in quarantine/some other reason that was not derived from the school. Do I still have the right to start the practice this spring or instantly next fall?
Yes. However, if the practices can be continued during the spring, you might not have enough time to complete the entire practice. Next fall when distributing the practice places, we will have to priorities the students who would have graduated on this term after the practice and are continuing the practice they started in the spring.
11) I have a job as a teacher. Can I conduct the practice at my own workplace?
No, you can not conduct the practice by working.
12) My graduation will be postponed due to the interruption of the practice. Didn’t the University inform earlier that the students’ graduation would not be postponed due to the coronavirus?
The interruption of the practices is due to reasons beyond the University’s influence. We strive to continue the practices as soon as possible.
13) I have a summer job that starts at the end of April and my livelihood is dependent upon it. Can I decide to move my practice voluntarily to the fall term/next spring?
Yes, you can decide to move your practice.
14) What happens to my study grant if I will not get the credits of the practice this spring?
Be in contact with the official who has granted you with the grant (for instance KELA: https://www.kela.fi/web/en/corona). We are in an exceptional situation that concerns the entire country.
15) I have a separate study right and it ends 31.7.2020. I have already gotten an extension before. Can I still get an extension of my study right if the practice can not be completed during the spring?
Yes, in this kind of an exceptional situation the University can extend your study right.
16) I should collect material for my thesis at a day-care centre/school. Can I go and collect my research data?
This is not a good time to go to a day-care centre/school to collect data. The Finnish government has strongly recommended everyone in Finland to avoid close contact or any movement. We are following this recommendation and will not go and collect any research data at the moment.
17) Can us students with a separate study right be in any way taken into special consideration when it comes to the interruption of the advanced practice? I have gotten study leave from my work only for the spring term/can not continue my studies in the fall for some other reason.
The primary guideline is that the teaching practices will continue as soon as possible, hopefully even 14.4.2020. We are not able to give any more specific instructions until it is clear when the practices can be continued again.
18) What will happen to the tasks I already completed in my practice if it will be moved to the fall term or even to spring 2021?
All tasks done so far will remain and taken into account. Write down what you have done before the interruption and send the file to your mentor.
19) Can I do some other studies while the practice is interrupted?
Yes, you can very well do other courses while waiting for the practice to continue.
Teaching practices during exceptional situation
1. When a teaching practice becomes interrupted, the primary action preferred is to continue a practice as soon as possible, hopefully already from 14.4.2020 on.
- We wish a teaching student to be able to continue a practice in the same school/educational organization where s/he started a practice.
- At this point, it is important that the student is able to show what are the tasks already completed during a practice. Teaching student will report all work done till the point of interruption (e.g. lessons taught and other tasks) and will send a document to his/her supervisor.
2. Secondary option is to continue one’s practice in the autumn of 2020. This option will be considered only, if continuing a practice is not possible in the spring of 2020. Teaching practices in early childhood education might be completed in June.
- Teaching student will continue her/his practice from a point of interruption. A student has to be able to document the tasks already completed before an interruption (see guidelines for reporting above).
Faculty of Educational Sciences will, while organizing replacements, prioritize students who would have graduated after spring practices
Referring to the decisions by the Finnish government on 16.3.2020
- Attendance teaching is cancelled until further notice. When possible, teaching will be transformed to distance learning from 18.3.2020.
- All practicums are cancelled until 13.4.2020.
The announcements will be updated on this website.