Make The Connection

September 26, 2013 | By Katie Nunner '15

Theory-to-Practice Grant, ‘Why Do Finnish Students Finish First?’

How is Ohio Wesleyan University’s ‘OWU Connection’ curriculum helping students explore areas of interest and prepare for global citizenship and leadership? In this new series, read how OWU’s Course Connections, Travel-Learning Courses, Theory-to-Practice Grants, and other programs help students…Make the Connection.

Kelly Maier ’14 (left) and Emma Goetz ’15 (right) visited Sipoo and Helsinki, Finland, in May 2013 to study the education system. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Maier ’14)

Name: Kelly Maier ’14
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Major: Early Childhood Education with a Concentration on Special Education and English
Experience: Theory-to-Practice Grant, “Why Do Finnish Students Finish First?”

Kelly Maier ’14

“I already believed in the power of community in a classroom; however, after returning from Finland I can truly see the impact a culture can have upon an educational system.

“An experience like this allows you to test your knowledge, challenge yourself to find meaning in every possible moment, and reflect back upon what each of those moments create as a larger picture.

“In Finland, I took advantage of every opportunity we had to immerse ourselves in the culture. From the family dinner table to talking with the National Finnish Board of Education, I was constantly learning something new.

“Being a part of Finnish and Swedish schools allowed me to test my own beliefs about what I thought I knew about the Finnish Education System, and reflect upon how I could take my newly found insights into my own future classroom.”