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DECEMBER 2014
09.12.2014

Youngsters integrate at Kumu under guidance of New York artist
Sunday school teachers and directors attend autumn school
Marie Under’s life story translated into Russian
Work placement programme for vocational school teachers ends

Youngsters integrate at Kumu under guidance of New York artist

Coordinated by the Integration and Migration Foundation, the Art Museum of Estonia (known as Kumu) is engaging 180 Estonian- and Russian-speaking students in an integration-based art education project being led by New York artist Tom Russotti. A documentary will be produced of the activities that take place as part of the project, with the participants contributing to its development.

The project, which goes by the title of ‘Kumu aesthletics’, brings together art appreciation and sport, i.e. aesthetics and athletics. Aesthletics is based on the idea of taking a creative approach to sport, which by its nature is controllable and quantifiable and therefore stands in contrast to art. Russotti has worked under the aegis of aesthletics elsewhere in Europe and also in Japan. Now it has brought him to Estonia, where he will be guiding local youngsters using the architecture and content of Kumu and investigating possibilities of sport as art practice in this environment.

Almost 180 Estonian- and Russian-speaking students from Grades 1-9 will be taking part in the project. Activities will be conducted in mixed groups so that students from different linguistic backgrounds can work together and communicate. The organisers of the project are hoping that in doing so the students will improve their social skills and that it will lead to greater understanding and cultural awareness.

The ‘Kumu aesthletics’ project is being supported by the Ministry of Culture. Its implementation is being coordinated by the Integration and Migration Foundation.

For further information please contact: Marina Fanfora, Coordinator, Multicultural Education Unit / Telephone: +372 659 9068 / E-mail: marina.fanfora@meis.ee

Sunday school teachers and directors attend autumn school

With the coordination of the Integration and Migration Foundation and under the aegis of the Tallinn Pushkin Institute, an autumn school was held at Vidrikese Holiday Centre in Otepää for national minority Sunday school teachers and directors from 7-9 November. The programme was wide-ranging, from teaching methodology showcases to brainstorming.

The presentations given and discussions held at the three-day event were led by experts in the respective fields. In her presentation, Pushkin Institute director Inga Mangus looked at styles and methods of teaching foreign languages and acquiring material. She also got the audience involved in brainstorming, finding solutions to a number of issues that teachers encounter in their everyday work at Sunday schools. Alla Kirillova, a teacher and methodology specialist from Tallinn High School no. 21, discussed topics related to measuring students’ results, while psychologist Irina Tolstoi introduced to listeners the ethics of pedagogical communication. Public speaking trainer Natalja Jagintseva’s talks on feedback on the learning process and setting goals were also warmly received. Entertainment at the event was provided by the NPO Sebra, under whose guidance the attendees were able to take part in interactive theatre. They were also able to watch the film Dead Poets Society.

Sharing her autumn school experiences was Ida-Viru County Ingrian Finn society ‘Lemminkäinen’ Sunday school Finnish language and culture teacher Elsa Jagula. “The three days we spent in the beautiful surroundings of Otepää gave us a real boost to take back to school with us,” she said. “The people who gave the talks and led the workshops were fantastic. Since my educational background is in technology, and most of my teaching knowledge I’ve obtained through training provided by the Integration Foundation, I was really impressed with the simple and very clear examples we were given on how to teach more effectively. That’s encouraged me to try different approaches and methods with the kids.”

The teachers and directors from the Sunday schools came together again at Vidrikese Holiday Centre on 6 & 7 December, where the main theme of their training was developing the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of children of different ages in lessons.

The organisation of in-service training and the autumn school for teachers and directors of national minority Sunday schools is supported by the Ministry of Education and Research and organised by the Integration and Migration Foundation.

For further information please contact: Kristina Pirgop, Coordinator, Multicultural Education Unit / Telephone: +372 659 9024 / E-mail: kristina.pirgop@meis.ee; Irina Zahharova, Tallinn Pushkin Institute / E-mail: info@pushkin.ee / Telephone: +372 648 7794

Marie Under’s life story translated into Russian

With the support of the Integration and Migration Foundation, Sirje Kiin’s monograph ‘Marie Under: Her Life and Poetry’ has now been translated into Russian. Kiin has entered into negotiations with the University of Tartu Press for publication of the monograph.

“Translating the dramatic life story of Estonia’s most influential 20th-century female poet into Russian gives Russian-speaking readers a chance to understand Estonian history, culture and literature more deeply and to find out about the life and legacy of a truly talented poet,” said Jana Tondi, the director of the foundation’s Lifelong Learning Unit.

The monograph was translated by Boris Tuch and Igor Kotjuh and the poems by Marina Tervonen. The translated text was shortened and adapted for Russian-speaking readers.

The ‘Marie Under: Her Life and Poetry’ project was supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Integration and Migration Foundation.

For further information please contact: Maria Ratassepp, Coordinator, Multicultural Education Unit / Telephone: +372 659 9039 / E-mail: maria.ratassepp@meis.ee

Work placement programme for vocational school teachers ends

The work placement programme for vocational school teachers came to an end in November. Eight teachers of groups with Russian as the language of instruction from six schools in Tallinn took part in the programme with the support of the Integration and Migration Foundation. The aim of the programme was to prepare the teachers for the transition to Estonian-language studies in vocational secondary education.

Teachers of logistics, cooking, applied mathematics, biology/gardening, art and computer studies with mother tongues other than Estonian took part in the programme. They were from Tallinn School of Service, Tallinn Transport School, the School of Informatics and Computer Science, Tallinn Lasnamäe Mechanics School, Tallinn Kopli Professional School and Tallinn Building School.

The majority of the placements lasted for 12 days, with only the teacher from Tallinn Building School undertaking a 24-day placement. The teachers were placed at the Haapsalu, Pärnu County and Tartu Vocational Education Centres and Räpina School of Horticulture. Before, during and after the placements they worked with support teachers in both their own schools and the new schools they were placed in.

“Feedback on the placements has been positive, from both the teachers themselves and the support teachers at their own schools and the schools they were placed in,” said Liilika Raudhein, a coordinator with the Lifelong Learning Unit at the Integration Foundation. “The biggest challenges they said they faced were communicating in Estonian and understanding the use of language of the students in the classes they sat in on. The support teachers said the work placement teachers were able to make themselves understood and obtain any information they needed, and that in doing so they realised even more how important it is to be able to speak Estonian in order to get by in this country.”

Marina Vigant, a teacher in applied mathematics from the School of Informatics and Computer Science, was placed at Tartu Vocational Education Centre, where she was able to take part in a round table on the development of the IT specialist study programme for industrial companies. She also sat in on a number of different lessons – financial mathematics, automation of administration and web programming – and gave a maths lesson herself in Estonian. “The placement was really interesting, and certainly very useful,” she said. “I learnt a lot of new Estonian vocabulary in my field, got some experience teaching Estonian students in Estonian and reviewed the new Estonian-language vocational education curriculum.”

Work placements are financed by the Ministry of Education and Research via the ‘In-service training for vocational school teachers’ project of the ‘Language Studies Development 2011-2013’ programme supported by the European Social Fund. The ‘Language Training Development 2011-2013’ programme is being implemented in Estonia by the Integration and Migration Foundation.

For further information please contact: Liilika Raudhein, Coordinator, Lifelong Learning Unit / Telephone: +372 659 9841 / E-mail: liilika.raudhein@meis.ee