Tuija Turunen, lead of the Thematic Network and professor at the University of Lapland, presented the project proposal at the Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) meeting in Kotzebue, Alaska. She pointed out that one teacher interacts with hundreds of children during their career, and a single teacher-training course can therefore influence tens of thousands of children. The proposal received a positive response from the meeting participants, and the project was granted the SDWG endorsement status.

“Teacher Education for Diversity and Equality in the Arctic” will focus on knowledge exchange around inclusive and effective practices, such as Arctic pedagogy that incorporates indigenous pedagogical practices; innovative approaches to education in sparsely populated areas; community-based education; using technology to enhance participation and agency; and pedagogical models for multimodal and digital environments.

The proposed activities promote establishment of local and international networks of teachers, teacher educators, policy makers and researchers in the Circumpolar North. Through shared research activities, the project will enhance understanding of the teaching profession in the Circumpolar North, and highlight ways in which pre-service and in-service teacher education can help teachers contribute to a sustainable future in the Arctic. Project activities will also enhance practices of shared teaching across the institutions, widen the students’ perspectives on shared practices and challenges across the Circumpolar North, and provide them with possibilities to network with colleagues across the Arctic to improve their own practice.

“Teacher Education for Diversity and Equality in the Arctic” is one of the three projects Finland proposed for its upcoming Arctic Council chairmanship in 2017-2019. Education in the Arctic is also one of Finland’s chairmanship priorities.


Participating organizations:

Sami Education Institute, Finland
University of Helsinki, Finland
University of Lapland, Finland
University of Oulu, Finland
University of Turku, Finland

Cape Breton University, Canada
Government of the Northwest Territories, Canada
Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
University of Manitoba, Canada

Sámi University College, Norway
UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Murmansk Arctic State University, Russia
Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Russia

Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Mongolian National University of Education, Mongolia

University of Aberdeen, Scotland

University of Alaska Anchorage, USA
University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA

University of Iceland, Iceland


Further information on the project:

Dr Tuija Turunen

Docent, Dean, Professor, Teacher Education
University of Lapland

Lead, UArctic Thematic Network on Teacher Education for Social Justice and Diversity

Phone: +358 40 4844 124


Link to the press release