After visiting Finland and Norway, my third Erasmus Staff Mobility exchange led me to Akureyri, Iceland.
Akureyri is the fourth biggest city in Iceland with around 18000 inhabitants. It is situated on the shores of the fjord Eyjafjörður. Since 1987 there is a university here, which essentially offers three departments: School of Business and Science, School of Humanities and Social Sciences and School of Health Sciences. Around 2000 students and 200 teachers work here. The Faculty of Education is part of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
In this kind of teacher education, students can choose between elementary education and primary education after one year (younger or older children). The primary school is a comprehensive school from the 1st to the 10th class, and after that there is a possibility to do an advanced level course. I was again particularly interested in Crafts Education in teacher training in various schools. Most of the students at this university are female, men usually do not study or find well-paid jobs in industry and commerce (fishing, trading,…).
What impressed me at this bright, friendly and modern designed university was the well-functioning and continuous waste-separation. We should follow their example here.
On Wednesday I held my planned lesson, an Indoor Kite Workshop for first year students. During the week, I had the opportunity to visit different schools and institutions in the area, such as a school for children with „school problems“, where quite flexible teaching takes place in the field of Arts&Krafts. I also visited a comprehensive school as well as an arts and crafts school, where adults can take cheap courses or work independently (ceramics, glass fusing, restoration, knitting, sewing…). I could also visit the public FabLab (one of 5 FabLabs in Iceland).
I was impressed by the affinity to books. There are bookshops where you can sit with coffee and cakes whilst reading books, and a public library that is open until the evening hours, inviting to read with cosy sitting areas, warm blankets and free tea. Reading promotion in Icelandic!
Mag.a Ursula Görlitz