Design-oriented Pedagogy: A New Framework for Making Learning Whole
A New Framework for
Making Learning Whole
University of Eastern Finland
Contents of my presentation
1. What our children should know and be able
– Perspectives on education and learning
– Skills to be learned
2. How to educate children for the constantly
– New Finnish National Core Curriculum (FNCC)
– Rising of participatory culture and participatory
– Design-oriented pedagogy (DOP) as an example
of participatory pedagogies
3. From participatory learning to participatory
– Development of school culture in FNCC
– Participatory learning culture and DOP
This follows some basic questions
What our children should know and be
able to do in the future societies (for
making the world better )?
How to educate children for constantly
How to enhance schools to change when
needed, take risks, and develop teaching
toward the future challenges (and for the
1. What should our children know and
be able to do?
“Creativity and imagination are the key
elements of 21 st century
learning.” (Thomas&Brown 2011)
“Education is a self-organization system
where learning is an emerging
phenomena.” (Sugata Mitra 2013)
“The school that cannot enhance genuine
will and need to learn cannot produce the
kind of learning, that is needed in the future
society. “ ( Pasi Sahlberg 2010)
”Constantly changing world demands that we
should be able to reniew continuously our cultural
practices and enhance in our children the skills, that
make it possible.”
”The emerging challenges are not possible to face
and the problems to solve without systemic thinking
and understanding of the relationships of the parts
of the whole.” (Thomas and Brown, 2011)
The skills that learning activities should be
able to mediate?
(21 st. Century Skills/ATC21S)
2. How to educate children for
constantly changing world?
• What is the relevant conception of learning
the learning community (e.g. the school)
• What kind of citizens we expect the schools
should be able to produce?
• How can the educational organization take
into account the changes that happens
increasingly in their surrounding world?
Finnish National Core Curriculum
Conception of learning
• The pupils are active actors and learn to set goals and to solve
problems both independently and together with others.
• Learning is an inseparable part of an individual's growth as a
human being and the building of a decent life for the community.
• Language, physical elements and the use of different senses are
essential for thinking and learning.
• While acquiring new knowledge and skills, the pupils learn to
reflect on their learning, experiences and emotions.
• Positive emotional experiences, the joy of learning and creative
activities promote learning and inspire the pupils to develop their
• Thinking and learning to learn
• Cultural competence, interaction and self-expression
• Taking care of oneself and others, managing daily life
• Competence in information and communication
• Working life competence and entrepreneurship
• Participation, involvement and building a sustainable
21st century skills in FNCC (called as
Multidisciplinary learning (FNCC)
Multidisciplinary learning modules (MLs) are
study periods of integrative instruction crossing
over the borders of different school subjects
(and domain fields).
The learning modules express the principles
that guide the development of the operating
culture of basic education and support the
development of interdisciplinary competencies.
• The first implementation of Design-oriented pedagogy
was called Case Forest pedagogy (2005-2008)
• Since that the pedagogy has been dissseminated
successfully to seven European countries for use in
project-based learning (Comenius project; 2009-2010)
• Its current form has been tested and validated in tens of
schools in Finland from pre-primary education to
university (especially to teacher education)
• Just now we have over 100 teachers from the City of
Lappenranta in in-service training course. The goal is to
take DOP into use in multidisciplinary learning modules
of the schools
• Most of the child will learn is a consequence of
continuous breathing-like activity –
participation in daily activities.
• Learning is depending about what interests
him/her, what kind of aims he/she has
adopted, and what kind of resources he/she
has in attaining the aims.
• Our children are in themselves programmed to
learning. They learn mostly by doing and
making and from the failures.
How children learn
(interpretation built in DOP)
An experience that is acquired through interaction with
the world, people, and things. (cf. Jean Piaget)
A self-directing and iterative process by which learners
invent for themselves the tools and mediations that best
support the exploration of what they most care about.
(cf. Edith Ackermann about Papert’s constructionism)
Rising of participatory culture (enabled
by social media)
Jenkins, Henry; with Clinton, Katie; Purushotma, Ravi; Robison, Alice J.; &
Weigel, Margaret. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture:
Media education for the 21st century. MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved from
Participatory learning (Davidsson&
• Self-learning (eg. in knowledge seeking)
• Horizontal organizational structure (cf. knowledge
creative organizations or enterprises)
• Shared ownership and responsibility (cf.
• Distributed pedagogy (cf. school, organized
activity outside school and hobbies)
• Participation (cf. networks and communities)
• Technology (cf. social media as a powerful tool for
Design-oriented pedagogy as an example of
participatory learning culture
Object of the learning
– Complex problem to what the students aim to
find solution by making inquiries
– Phenomena in nature or culture environment
to what the students aim to construct
explanation (theory) by making inquiries
– Existing cultural practice, which the students
try to improve (renew) by making inquiries
The learning ecosystem in DOP
The Learning Task
Principles for instructional design in
– Addicting and orienting learners by driven questions
and whole tasks
– Anchoring the learning process on learners’ ideas,
thoughts, conceptions and interpretations about the
research questions to be investigated
– Working with objects that represent the phenomenon
and applying physical and cognitive tools
– Developing knowledge by collaborative designing
– Using learners’ possessed technologies in collecting
– Placing emphasis on affording learning resources,
guiding and supporting the learning process
– Putting a special emphasis on the students’ self-
Topical Whole tasks/Phenomena:
Poverty, hunger, healthy, learning, equality, clean
water, energy, work, industrial production, living,
traffic, environment, seas, forests, peace, justice,
development and climate change e.g.
What questions comes into your mind about e.g.
Energy (-> identifying the phenomenon) ?
The questions expressed by the students are the
starting points for DOP-projects (-> lead to the
learning tasks and later to the research questions).
Indentifying a phenomenon in its context = becoming
familiar with the context of the chosen phenomenon (by
reading a story in internet/newspaper, visiting a nature
environment or museum etc.)
Navigating = gives answer to the question where we are
Taking action= gives answer to the question where to go
Designing= iterative thinking, prototyping, concretisizing
and materialization of ideas
Assessment in DOP
Object of assessment Form of assessment
(by the small
(produced by the
small group of
analysis (by the
(by other small
Experiences about ongoing in-service
training course in Lappeenranta, Finland this
• 4 workshops once a month
• Between the workshops from 2 to 6 teachers’ groups worked with their
students to the next phase
• Teachers were asked to make observations about how their students
experience the new kind of projects and what they did in trying to solve
• At the end of the course the teachers were asked to make abstracted
replays in their groups to find aswers to the three questions:
– Which kind (and how often) of thinking skills-related activities
emerged in the students’ projects?
– What kind (and how often) making-related activities emerged ?
– How (and how often) did the students try to improve their activities?
• Inquired phenomena were: nutrition, theatre, Cityfox, forest, bugs,
games, paper mill, lake of Saimaa (nearby) from several perspectives,
stone, Saimaa channel, refugee, Finnishness
3. From participative learning to
participative learning culture
• A learning community at the heart of the school
• Well-being and safety in daily life
• Interaction and versatile working approach
• Cultural diversity and language awareness
• Participation and democratic action
• Equity and equality
• Environmental responsibility and sustainable
Principles that guide the development
of the school culture in FNCC
Learning community (definition
adopted in DOP)
Learning communities consist of the
students and students’ peers; fellow
educators in the schools, libraries,
museums and afterschool programs;
professional experts in various disciplines
around the world; members of community
organizations that serve students in the
hours they are not in school; and parents
who desire greater participation in their
(Connected teaching: National Technology
Principles of participatory learning
community (that DOP is based on)
1) Is open to the phenomenon of our world, discusses
about them, aims to understand them and to search
explanations and solutions to them
2) Accepts that learning and development are
consequences of interactions with the physical
objects, people and the world as well as feedbacks
3) Places emphasis on self-organization in developing its
4) Aims continuously to develop and improve its
5) Examines the phenomenon from systemic
perspective (wholeness, parts and relationships)
6) Creates, modifies and builds learning spaces and
environments for answering to the diverse needs and
interest of the students
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• H Vartiainen, J Enkenberg Participant-Led Photography as a Mediating Tool in
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Recent publications about DOP