Keynote Speakers

PASI SAHLBERG

Pasi Sahlberg is Finnish educator, author and scholar. He has worked as schoolteacher, teacher educator, researcher and policy advisor in Finland and has studied education systems and reforms around the world. In his long career in education he has served the World Bank in Washington, DC, the European Commission in Torino, Italy, and the OECD as education specialist. He currently advises several governments about education policies and reforms. He is author of best-seller book “Finnish Lessons 2.0: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland” and has published numerous academic and professional articles and book chapters about education. He is active contributor to global education dialogue through writings that have appeared in the Washington Post, The Guardian, The Conversation and CNN.

His professional honors and awards include the 2012 Education Award in Finland, the 2013 Grawemeyer Award in the United States, the 2014 Robert Owen Award in Scotland, and 2016 Lego Award in Denmark. He is a former Director General of CIMO (Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation) at the Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture in Helsinki, and visiting Professor of Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

Pasi is currently Professor of Practice at the University of Helsinki and a visiting Professor of Practice at the Arizona State University. More on his website: pasisahlberg.com and Twitter: @pasi_sahlberg.

Keynote: Let the Children Play
For as long as there have been children, they have learned through play. They have learned by moving, exploring, discovering, practicing and experimenting with life. Play, both intellectual and physical, is critical for the healthy growth and learning of a child. Despite strong medical and scientific consensus for play as a foundation of education, play is an increasingly endangered experience for many of the world’s children.

This presentation will focus on children’s play as an essential element of early childhood education, learning and growing up - including looking at how children around the world experience early childhood education today and providing a case study of the Finnish model of play-based early childhood education. Conclusions include practical suggestions to early childhood educators and leaders to strengthen the role of play or otherwise improve work with young children.

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