162 years before our great exploration “Reinventing the School”, a colorful Finnish pastor traveled across Europe with the same mission Heidi.news does today: to find compelling educational models and teaching tools. Surprise, it was in Switzerland that he drew the inspiration for his reform.
In a few minutes, a slew of children in colorful beanies will be dashing out of the imposing gray building at 9 rue de Merimiehenkatu in Helsinki. Like several schools across the country, the facility is named after Uno Cygnaeus, a Lutheran pastor considered the founding father of the Finnish public school.
“A sacred character”, comments jokingly Martti Hellstrom, seated in front of a ham and cucumber sandwich in a cafe a few blocks from the school. The lecturer from the University of Helsinki, specialist in the Finnish educational model and head of a primary school, came especially to the capital to share a fragment of the history of his country, which he particularly likes: the year in which Swiss schools inspired Finland.