Culturally responsive education – NSS-funded project


The Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) project builds on the fruitful co-operation started during the previous North South South funding period 2012-2014. The well-established connections encourage further co-operation. This project extends the previous collaboration by peer reviewing good practises in culturally responsive teacher education in the partner universities in Africa and in Finland. The participants will engage in dialogue with students, teachers and teacher educators during exchange activities, intensive course and network meetings, and are guided to analyse gained experiences and findings and bring these back to their learning communities. The intensive course, a new activity for this network, is planned on qualitative research as a response to the suggestion of the partners in the South.

See NSS-exchange experiences


The project is carried out in four countries, Finland, Ghana, South-Africa and Tanzania. Institutions taking part are:
– Department of Teacher Education (DTE) and Institute of Behavioural Sciences (IBS) (a new extension to the previous partnership formation), Faculty of Education, University of Helsinki.
– Faculty of Education, University of Jyväskylä;
– Faculty of Education, University of Cape Coast, Ghana;
– School of Education, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
– Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies & Department of Education Management and Policy Studies, University of Pretoria, South-Africa.


– Network meeting 1.6.2012 Tampere Launching of the Network Network meeting 1.6.2012 held at Tampere University premises for practical reasons (half way between Jyväskylä and Helsinki). Participants from Jyväskylä and Helsinki: Okkolin, Tuomi, Lehtomäki, Posti-Ahokas, Janhonen-Abruquah, Palojoki. Plan of action was negotiated, work division and adjustments for the budget (as funds received were less than applied).

– Network meeting 8.-10.11. 2012 Jyväskylä Working meeting Participants from Dar es Salaam, Helsinki, Jyväskylä: Tuomi, Lehtomäki, Komba, Okkolin, Posti-Ahokas, Janhonen-Abruquah. Criteria for student recruitment, selection and before travel preparation (orientation) were agreed. Joint courses were planned.

–  Network meeting 3.-4.6.2013 Helsinki Working meeting Participants from Helsinki and Tansania: Matonya, Lehosvuo, Juurikkala, Janhonen- Abruquah, Palojoki.

– Network meeting in Helsinki 13.-15.11.2013 and in Jyväskylä 20.11.-22.11.2013 participants from each partner organization taking part. Planning and finalizing the future activities.

– Dissemination of joint expertise developed during the cooperation. Open workshop organized as part of the Finnish Education Research Association Annual Conference 22.11.2013 in Jyväskylä

– Final network meeting (and/or launching of new North South South network 2014-2015) in Helsinki June 2014

Student and teacher exchange:
– Preparatory visit to Norway / Magreth Matonya to learn about Nordic cooperation in education. Discussing the possibility of having Nordic cooperation as part of this network.

– Student Exchange Magreth Matonya from Tansania to Jyväskylä spring 2013

– Teacher Exchange Mari-Anne Okkolin from Jyväskylä and Venitha Pillay from Pretoria teaching in Dar es Salaam “Seminar on Qualitative Research” was organized for Master’s and doctoral students spring 2013. The course gave also opportunity for the three partners to strengthen their collaboration and discuss needs for courses, professional development and teacher exchange.

–  Student exchange from Jyväskylä to Dar es Salaam , September-December 2013, Anniina Mäkelä 2) Students exchange from Dar es Salaam to Jyväskylä, September – December 2013, Aurelia Kimaro 3) Teacher exchange form Jyäskylä to Dar es Salaam , October 2013, Margaret Tuomi

–  Teacher exchange from Cape Coast to Helsinki 11.11.-14.11.2013 Joseph Ghartey Ampiah

– Teacher exchange from Helsinki to Cape Coast 24.11.-8.12.2013 Hille Janhonen- Abruquah

–  Student exchange from Helsinki to Cape Coast January-March 2014, Suvi Lehosvuo and Katariina Juurikkala

–  Student exchange from Cape Coast to Helsinki, February-April 2014 Christopher Kwaah

–  Teacher exchange from Helsinki to Dar es Salaam 15.2.-30.2.2014, Hanna Posti-Ahokas


The project links with:
– Education for Diversities Research Group at the Department of Teacher Education

– Cooperation together with North South South project coordinated by Jyväskylä African-Finnish Network for Inclusive Teacher Education AFNITE.

Papers and publications:
– Posti-Ahokas, H. & Palojoki, P. 2013. Navigating transitions to adulthood through secondary education: Aspirations and value of
education for Tanzanian girls. Journal of Youth Studies. doi: 10.1080/13676261.2013.853871.
– Lehtomäki, E., Posti-Ahokas, H., Moate, J. 2013. Global Connectedness: Student Voices on the Value of Cross-cultural Learning Dialogue. Paper presentation.  European Educational Research Conference. Istanbul, Turkey.
– Posti-Ahokas, H. & Lehtomäki, E. 2013. Female students speaking back to education policy: Exploring student voice work in Tanzania. Paper presentation. Youth Studies Conference. Glasgow, UK.
– Lehtomäki, E., Janhonen-Abruquah, H., Tuomi, M. T., Okkolin, M. A., Posti-Ahokas, H. & Palojoki, P. 2013. Research to engage voices on the ground for educational development. International Journal of Educational Development.
– Janhonen-Abruquah, H., Posti-Ahokas, H., Palojoki, P. & Lehtomäki, E. 2012. Towards culturally responsive home economics teacher education: visual learning games in home economics education. A paper presented in the IFHE XXII World Congress ’Global Wellbeing’, Melbourne.

News, further information:
– MEd Hanna Posti-Ahokas will publicly defend her doctoral thesis Tanzanian Female Students’ Perspectives on the Relevance of Secondary Education on Friday the 13th June, 2014, at 12 o’clock. Siltavuorenpenger 3A, Auditorium 107 (Psychologicum).  Opponent: professor Colleen McLaughling, Sussex University, UK.  Custos: professor Päivi Palojoki