Teaching practice for master’s degree programmes in dance and theatre pedagogy

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Two extensive practice periods

Students must complete two teaching practice periods, comprising 10 ECTS credits each, as part of their master’s degree studies. 

  1. During the first year of master’s studies, students complete a study unit called Teaching practice 1, where they focus on applying an investigative approach to their development as teachers in a three-phase cycle of planning, action, and reflection. 
  2. During the second year of master’s studies, students complete Teaching practice 2, where the aim is to plan and carry out an artistic-pedagogical project as an independent and responsible team leader. The second teaching practice is often closely connected to the student’s thesis project.

In both practice periods, the goal is to operate as a functioning member of a work community or a team, to take people’s differences and diversity into consideration in a sensitive and situation-aware way and to engage in constructive and responsible interaction.

Students can choose to complete their practice period in an organisation outside of Uniarts Helsinki or by carrying out a project based on their own ideas together with a team that they have assembled.

In the past, students have completed practice periods on various educational levels in the arts, ranging from early childhood education to higher education. Teaching practice opportunities are also provided by:

  • institutions providing basic education in the arts
  • liberal adult education institutions and folk high schools
  • projects in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools, and
  • social welfare and healthcare contexts.

Students who have chosen to carry out independent projects have prepared performances, events, explorative workshops and courses, for example, often as members of multidisciplinary teams.

The teaching practice is designed based on the student’s personal interests. Students receive support for planning and executing their practice periods from the teacher in charge of practice periods and from their designated supervising teacher, as well as from other students in the form of peer support.

Socially engaged operators

In master’s degree programmes in dance and theatre pedagogy, a teacher in the arts is considered to have the potential of influencing social issues. During practice periods, students build their personal teacher identity and gain hands-on experience from various work communities and organisations. The teaching practice is also a chance to reflect on one’s future and employment prospects and to experiment with new work methods and environments in a risk-free context, all the while expanding one’s professional networks.

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Tiia Kurkela

Read more about dance and theatre pedagogy