FinlandSummer Study Tour

On this week-long Study Tour, you have the opportunity to broaden your understanding of the ‘Nordic perspective’ on child development and education. Visits provide you with a forum to discuss and debate cultural differences within ‘best practice’ and encourage you to explore the historical, economic, and social background factors that influence the ways we work with children – both as parents and professionals.
The vision for this tour is to investigate what continuously – not only in Denmark, but also worldwide – is viewed as one of the world’s best countries for families. We explore first-hand what professionals do to meet the needs of children, as well as the typical challenges and experiences for parents. By combining research, policy, and practice, we begin to uncover the foundations of the Finnish system in order to apply this knowledge to experiences in Denmark and the United States.

By treating visits as individual case studies, the tour is also supplemented with cultural visits to help integrate theories presented in classroom with observations and reflections, and set the stage for an extended study of Finnish life for families and children.

Tour Objectives

  • Explore why Finland has such a good reputation for both education and services for families – even among the Nordic countries
  • Investigate factors that contribute to how Finnish parents view their roles and responsibilities
  • Analyze the Finnish context for children through visits to cultural, educational, and historical sites

Possible Activities

  • Visits to local cultural centers and play groups to meet with parents and explore the services and support available to them
  • Take extended visits at Finnish child care centers to gain insight into the routines of these programs
  • Actively experience the impact of nature on Finnish (and Nordic) views of childhood through visits to a nature education center