A Nordic network for teacher educators and students

About the Spica network

Spica is a network funded by Nordplus, with participation from Greenland University, IlinniarfissuaqUniversity of Iceland, University of the Faroe Islands, Malmö University, University of Oulu, UCL University College and University of South-Eastern Norway (coordinating institution).

The Spica-network is an arena of professional development for student teachers and teacher educators in the key areas of sustainable development, diversity, democracy, and citizenship. The network focuses on interdisciplinary perspectives and innovative methods in education.

Together we contribute to strengthen the culture of internationalisation in teacher education across the Nordics through mobility (both virtual and physical) and the organisation of a Blended Intensive Programme (intensive course).

A central part of Spica is the implementation of a 5 ECTS Blended Intensive Programme for Nordic student teachers. Every year the intensive course changes its form and content, adapting global questions and challenges to the characteristics of a local Nordic context. The 2022 course ” Education for Sustainable Futures: Wellbeing of Humans and Nature” took place in Oulu and Syöte National Park, Finland. An online course component with the use of flipped classroom and online group discussions preceded the course week. Explorative perspectives on education and learning, SDG 4.7 and the use of local surroundings constituted the course’s thematic, geographical and educational frames. Faculty from the participating institutions contributed with their knowledge and shared experiences online and on-site with the students. The students worked in mixed nationality groups, applying the methods and concepts they had encountered.

In 2023, the course “Sustaining Remote Communities: Finding Enduring Ways to Flourish” took place in the Faroe Islands. Taking our point of departure in both Agenda 2030 and local Faroese contexts, we explored how teacher education and schools can be part of building inclusive, safe and robust local communities by focusing on environmental, economic, cultural and social aspects of sustainability.