Der vorläufige Programmraster: Programm icm 2020 – Überblick (pdf)


Flipped learning in Finland

Mrs. Marika Toivola is nominated to be math teacher of the year 2019 in Finland. She is a well-known pioneer on flipped learning and a sought-after trainer in formative assessment.

Toivola has graduated both a trained physicist and a subject teacher in mathematics and physics in 1999. She works as a lower secondary school in Teacher Trainer School at Turku University. Teacher students, who want to learn flip their mathematics teaching, do their practical training in Toivola’s class, where the students are between 12 to 16 years old. In addition to practical work Toivola is doing doctoral research about teachers’ agency and identity in flipped learning at Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki. The doctoral thesis contributes to existing research knowledge in two ways: it helps understand the process of conceptualization of the phenomenon of flipped learning particularly from math teacher perspective and it is contributing in particular to efforts at promoting a change in the teaching of mathematics.

Flipped classroom is more of less an educational idea where the teacher “flips” the usual classroom design. It is commonly associated with watching pre-recorded learning videos at home and doing ‘homework’ in class. Flipped learning is a related approach but involves the profounder development of the educational idea of ‘flipping’: in flipped learning teachers promote students’ autonomy and collaborative learning, and target guidance to meet the needs of individual learners. Flipping should not be taken as a manifesto for one true teaching methodology, but rather as a change theory of education. It denotes professional development where teachers knowingly place themselves in a position that requires them to completely rebuild the role of the teacher. Instead of direct teaching teachers strive to see learning through the eyes of students and help them become their own teachers. The goal is to support students’ self-regulation and to engage them in a long-term process of acculturation to communication practices, not just to meet the next day’s assessment requirements.

However, if the way we measure our students does not change, the learning culture will not change either. As sad it is students mainly seem to learn for assessments. For this reason, Toivola has also flipped her assessment culture. She is not using assessment tools to measure learning outcomes but rather to shape students’ learning.

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Rebecca & Ilka