Public talk: How to learn in Estonian schools


How are conflicts resolved in Estonian schools?

Yulia Brovinska, director of CO the Maxym Stepanov Foundation and leader of the Proshkolu project, visited 6 Estonian schools. To look into the classes of the digital country and see how they combine the traditions of powerful education and modern views on children’s development.

Ms. Yulia decided to share her impressions with Ukrainian educators and government officials. And on November 5, HUB 4.0 hosted “Public Talk: How to Learn in Estonian Schools”. Together with the leader of the Superheroes School  Yevhenia Smirnova, we talked about the features of Estonian schools and the experience that can be applied in Ukraine.

“In Estonia, there is mutual respect between teacher and student. Each school is a separate independent unit and strives to create the most comfortable conditions for teachers. After all, there are not enough of them in the country. Not only that, they can always change schools and choose a new job. That’s why teachers are valued and supported here, the administration always has a dialogue and often in conflict situations “teacher-student” asks parents to be on the side of teachers” – said Yulia Brovinska.

The purpose of the visit to Estonia was to get acquainted with the system of motivation of teachers and the approach to conflict resolution. Imagine that educational institutions employ not only social educators, but also educational technologists who are responsible for teacher education and development. What special did we see in Estonian schools?

  • First, all conflicts are resolved at a round table with not only parents and the principal, but also a social worker and a mediator. And the decision of the table is binding.
  • Second, there is freedom in schools for teachers to choose their own teaching methods. The main thing is the KPI and the result of the children and the individual approach to the students.
  • Third, there is an American anti-bullying program in Estonia – and this is a great example of a social franchise. All school staff know how to behave in cases of bullying, how to react and anticipate such behavior.
  • Finally, students may even be expelled from school for swearing and insulting teachers. In the Ukrainian reality, it is possible by law to expel a child from school only in criminal cases.

This trip and exchange of experiences became the first on our way to develop a project of online consultation of teachers of the Proshkolu. As the founder of the Fund Maxym Volodymyrovych Stepanov said at the meeting:

“I am convinced that only quality education gives the right to the future of our country. And only a protected teacher is able to create modern opportunities for children’s development. I talked to teachers from cities with a population of millions, and from small villages – all these teachers want one thing: to pass on unique knowledge.

Yulia Brovinska spoke about the responsibilities and rights of teachers and school administrations in Estonia and stressed that Ukraine can already boldly implement some of Estonia’s achievements. We are cooperating with mediators in the Proshkolu project and we are sure that Ukrainian schools need such specialists.