Finnish National Agency of Education 1/2021-6/2021

The Finnish Government has launched a pilot for implementing the Finnish model of free hobbies and free-time recreational activities as part of the school day in 112 municipalities. The main goal is to increase the wellbeing of children and young people. The model aims to support equality of families by giving opportunities for free hobbies and, also helping parents to cope with combining work and family life.  It will also have significant influences on collaboration between schools and third sector actors in municipalities.

One of the funded pilot projects is Hobbies At School in Lempäälä municipality. Project includes 11 schools and almost 30 third sector actors, such as local art and sport clubs.  The timespan of the pilot project is one school term, with possible continuum for two years 2021-2023. LDS research group is responsible of the consulting and evaluating the development work in the project.

The goal of the evaluation research is to find different functional practices and models that support the well-being of the students and their families. The professional development of club instructors involved in developing the practice as well as good collaboration between teachers, principals and outside school actors are main developmental goals. Further, goal is to find working models that are also applicable in a wider educational context.

The evaluation is development oriented and participative. Interview, observation and questionnaire data will be collected during the project. The participants’ collective learning is facilitated by bringing observations and reflection from other similar development projects into the joint discussions of the project.

The project is funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education.