Tallinn University development plan

I Introduction

The School of Educational Sciences (SES) holds the competence in the field of educational sciences and leads educational innovation in Tallinn University and in Estonia as a whole. We contribute to the society through preparing teachers and supporting their professional development as well as through studying and developing the field of education. On the basis of learner-centredness across all types and levels of education and training, we promote an interdisciplinary sustainable approach based on research, development, and cooperation between partners in the university and outside. We support and help to implement the objectives of the national education strategy as regards high-quality preparation and new generation of teachers, flexible learning opportunities, integration of formal and non-formal education and the transition to Estonian-language education in educational institutions. The SES leads the university’s focus field of educational innovation by integrating life-long learning in formal, non-formal and informal education. We strengthen the link between educational research and practice in order to implement educational innovations in a more efficient and broader way.

The SES contributes to the society by ensuring the new generation of teachers at all levels of education, supporting flexible learning paths through life-long learning and coping in a multicultural school environment. We support teachers and education authorities in using new teaching and learning practices, and in leading the innovation processes and institutional changes in the field of education. We consider noticing the learners’ diversities and taking them into account to be important, and advance corresponding teaching methods and support activities in the field of inclusive education. We lead the evidence-based approach and critical monitoring of digital innovations in education by helping to raise the level of digital competences of the teachers and learners. We contribute to the development of collaborative school culture in the creation of evidence-based innovations stemming from the learner.

II The relevance to the strategic goals of the university

In planning its development and activities, the School follows the strategic goals of the university by contributing primarily to the focus field of educational innovation. The strategic direction of the School during the previous period was to support the implementation of personalised learning. In the preparation of this development plan, the summary of the activities of the previous period and the concept of personalised learning have been followed, and the sub-goals of the School and the implementation plan to achieve the goals of the university have been drawn up as follows.

Strategic goal of the university: High-level research and creative work for Estonia  

Goal of the School: High-level research carried out by the academic staff and knowledge transfer in the field of educational innovation will support the creation of learner-centred and flexible learning paths, transition to Estonian-language education, and integration of formal and non-formal education.

  • Research studies for the development of education based on the learner’s needs and flexible learning paths by integrating formal and non-formal education in different learning environments have been conducted, involving partners from the public and/or private sectors.  
  • Educational research will be integrated with practical solutions and supports evidence-based decisions on education based on the learner’s needs and flexible learning paths.
  • Publication of the research results of the research groups have contributed to the international prestige of the School’s researchers and sectoral research creation in the Estonian language.

Strategic goal of the university: Life-changing learning experience and education matching the needs of the 21st century 

Goal of the School: flexible learning paths will ensure the preparation and new generation of teachers and other staff in the field of education. 

  • Flexible learning opportunities integrating the experiences of formal and non-formal education, incl. work-based learning, have been created for learners.
  • The learning process will empower the learner, and the learning environment will support the formation of the general and future skills and well-being of the learners.
  • The university’s teacher education will be valued, ensuring the new generation of teachers and the transition to Estonian-language education.

Strategic goal of the university: A smart and valued organisation 

Goal of the School: A collaborative study and working environment will ensure the new generation and professional development of employees.

  • The working environment of the School will be attractive and the employees will feel valued.
  • The professional development and formation of the career of the employees entering the profession will be supported by a mentoring system.
  • The professional development of the School’s lecturers will be supported through the possibilities of learning and teaching together, and the employees with management tasks will have the skills of empowering leadership