As a HIDOE-approved vendor, H.E.R.E. is committed to providing quality professional development offerings to the educational community of Hawaii. Our goal is to build capacity and knowledge in our educators and to support statewide programs, such as the P-3 initiative. At H.E.R.E., we have a proven track record of bringing innovative educational approaches to Hawaii schools and helping students achieve higher learning outcomes. As evidenced by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Finland is the only country in the world that consistently exhibits positive learning outcomes, high student satisfaction, and well-being. In order to bring the benefits of Finland's unparalleled educational system to your schools, we are excited to share the following unique workshops. These professional development sessions were designed and created by a former Finnish school administrator and educator committed to helping improve instructional practices.

Finnish Educational System and Pedagogy

Finland has the best school system in the world, and their students are consistently identified as some of the happiest and healthiest. In Finland, educational success does not come at the expense of children’s welfare. The same high standard of education is available to all children, regardless of geographic location or socioeconomic background. Participants will learn about the pedagogy of the Finnish educational system and how to apply its lessons to ensure positive learning outcomes and promote student well-being.


Play-Based Learning

Play-based learning is an integral part of Finnish early childhood education that has greatly contributed to the success of the Finnish education system. Play is a natural way for children to learn and it is crucial to their development and well-being. Both research and school observations have shown that different forms of play benefit students' physical health, cognitive development, and social-emotional growth. Learning through play enhances children’s learning readiness, learning behaviors, and problem-solving skills. Developmentally appropriate early childhood and primary classrooms offer versatile opportunities for play. Play-based learning presents endless possibilities for educators to introduce essential standards to their students in an engaging and effective format. As a participant in this workshop, you will learn more about the importance and impact of play-based learning, what play-based learning looks like in Finland, and how you can implement it successfully with your students.


Establishing a Culture of Student Voice

Student voice is a key element in the Finnish National Curriculum. Finnish schools have a strong culture where children are active members of their community. Students are supported as they grow into engaged and cooperative citizens. To become active citizens who are skilled at using their voices, children need to be given opportunities to participate in their community. Children must believe that their voices matter and that they have an influence on things that matter to them. If you wish to learn more about the methods used in Finland and how you can establish a culture of student voice in your school, this workshop is for you!


Physically Active Learning

In their early years, children learn by moving and exploring, but currently, even our youngest students sit for most of the day. Children’s health and well-being is on the decline. How can we improve our students’ health and activity levels while learning? Research indicates that physical activity during the school day correlates with greater student engagement, attention, and academic performance. Providing more opportunities for physical activity and harnessing it as a teaching strategy can result in significant benefits. This workshop will focus on the principles of physically active learning in the early childhood and primary education settings. You will explore successful approaches and strategies utilized in Finnish schools for integrating physical activity within the classroom environment and beyond. Come discover new ways to help children sit less and move more while fully engaging with their learning.


Phenomenon-Based Learning

Phenomenon-based learning is a widely-used approach in Finnish schools that helps students build the skills needed for success in the 21st century. Studying cross-subject topics is key in phenomenon-based learning. With this approach, students build the skills needed to excel in multiple curriculum areas at the same time. The greatest significance of phenomenon-based learning is its positive effect on each pupil. The goal of this cross-subject approach is to develop a student's love of learning and their interest in the world around them. Students grow into enthusiastic learners as well as active and cooperative citizens. Come learn more about phenomenon-based learning and how to implement it in your school.


Customized Coaching and Professional Development Services

We know and appreciate how unique each school is, just like every child. Although in close proximity to one another, each Hawaii school reflects a unique culture and climate. Our team will plan school and classroom-based observation visits with your administration. We will collaborate with school leadership to create and implement a customized professional development plan, infusing methods and pedagogy from the Finnish educational approach. Our plan will reflect and address the specific goals of your school's strategic academic plan to ensure the greatest outcomes for your school.