Shared Visions in Nordic-Baltic Mixture

By arranging international study trips, supporting international participation and sharing ideas and knowledge, the Shared Visions-project improves both teachers’ and students’ skills, as well as the education.  The project aims at creating a Nordic-Baltic creativity and partnership network between the involved countries; Finland, Norway, Lithuania and Estonia.

The purpose of the Shared Visions-project is to enrich the learning environment and teaching methods, and to improve professional skills in the field of photography, dance and vocal music. The belief is that learning and professional growth in these fields require international knowledge.

The intention of the project is to create contact  between creative study programmes and professional artists, and integrate project activities to every-day work both for students and teachers as a natural part of it.

In practice, the partners have been visiting each other and shared knowledge, practices and artistic views by making intensive five-day study trips.  All the partners have something to offer one another.  Finland has highly developed photography technology and a special view of contemporary photography.  Finnish contemporary dance also has its own character.

The creative use of older photography techniques and picturesque milieus in Baltic countries has been a great source of inspiration, and so has Norwegian dance style and folk high school life. And the way of teaching - it is amazing how much you learn by just attending a class by a foreign teacher. And what about an off-side performance in connection with an annual Nordic dance festival?  

International participation - greater inspiration

The project’s intention is to support and encourage students’ and teachers’ international participation by directing the activities towards all the teachers and the student groups as a part of their education. This has proved to be a very successful way to also encourage those students who are less ready to embrace the international dimension.

“Shared visions” has touched Finnish and Norwegian dance students and teachers, and Finnish, Lithuanian and Estonian photography students and teachers. Also, Finnish and Norwegian vocal music students have tasted both Nordic and Baltic music life.

Teachers have a key role in activating and guiding students to prepare performances and exhibitions which are displayed during the visits. Participation in the project motivates the students to work harder. The fact that their skills will be shown in another country and culture raise their mood and motivation to do their best. Also, a new milieu is a great source of inspiration and motivation.

Fresh thinking

Shared visions also means broadened views; new perspectives and new thoughts with new teachers and different working methods strengthen creativity. Teachers get new professional input,  and they even claim that participation has raised the enthusiasm for developing their personal skills.

In summary, this project has so far been a great source for new ideas and new skills for all the participants. International perspectives and links between formal and non-formal education have brought fresh thinking, which strengthen the curriculas and gives attraction especially to non-formal studies.