Education Blog

Empowering Education: Insights from a Tallinn University EduInno Graduate

Meet Emma Paasikivi – a dedicated alumna of Tallinn University's Educational Innovation and Leadership master's programme. In this interview, Emma shares her inspiring story, reflecting on her motivations for joining the Educational Innovation and Leadership master's programme, the valuable skills she gained, and the unique experiences she encountered. Stay tuned for insights into Emma's journey and the impact of studying at Tallinn University.


Please introduce yourself, share where you are currently employed, and describe your role.

I'm Emma Paasikivi, an ECEC teacher from Helsinki, Finland. I currently work as a teacher for 19 children ages 3 to 6 in an inclusive and diverse setting. 

What inspired you to enroll in the EduInno programme? Were there specific goals or interests that influenced your decision? 

This program was perfect for me because I'm passionate about education and learning. My initial intention was to learn more about education from an administrative perspective. It quickly shifted to the academic world and how much research and science affect how our education evolves. With this program, everyone can find their niche and passion in the field of education. 

Can you share how the knowledge, skills, and experiences from the EduInno program have been applicable in your professional or personal life?

Although I love being a teacher, I'm currently changing careers and planning to continue my education. Something I would have never thought I'd be able to do if it weren't for this program. I'm confident in my abilities to conduct research and make decisions regarding teaching methods. I see children and their learning methods differently; this program gave me many practical tips for improving my teaching. 

With a significant focus on mentoring, fieldwork, and observing, I also managed to build a professional network that I would not have been able to achieve otherwise. It's such a great way to connect internationally.

Based on your experiences, what advantages would students from Finland and other neighboring countries gain by choosing to study at Estonia and Tallinn University? 

I lived in Helsinki during this entire course and could attend the course as any other student. Tallinn is incredibly close, and I feel the international atmosphere whenever I visit my campus. To be able to study with such a diverse set of students is such a privilege. The campus is within walking distance of the ferry, and I wrote most of my work on the ferries; hence, I could always submit my work on time. I would take my daughter to school in the morning, attend lectures in Tallinn, and return to pick her up from the after-school club. It's the same distance, time-wise, as Tampere or Turku. 

Estonia, even though our close neighbor, has a unique and very successful educational system. The PISA results alone are a reason to acknowledge how much we can benefit from attending TLU, as Estonians genuinely know how to rise to the top. And to do so in such a short time frame. There is so much beneficial knowledge and practices we can return to our home countries. 

Could you share one particularly positive memory from your time studying at EduInno?

I love the atmosphere at the campus. It's a mix of old times, like in the movies, meeting the latest technology. Walking through the different buildings is like walking through time. 

I also want to highlight the professionalism of everyone teaching, visiting, or organizing this program. Everything was to the point, from the administrative staff to the professors to international researchers. I also like how the program is scheduled; unlike in Finland, in Estonia, students study the same modules together. This made it easier to stay focused and have my schedule sorted. 

Read more about EduInno programme