MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

March 4, 2017 

MSU Division of Education will host Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Taina Maarit Wewer


The Mayville State University Division of Education will host Fulbright Scholar Dr. Taina Maarit Wewer March 26-29, courtesy of the Fulbright Outreach Lecturing Fund (#OLF). We are delighted to offer this exceptional opportunity for our teacher education candidates, the MSU community, and stakeholders. The OLF enables visiting scholars to share their research interests, speak about their home country, and exchange ideas with U.S. students, faculty, and community organizations. Through these lectures, universities forge relationships with the Fulbright Scholar Program, Visiting Scholars, and the Visiting Scholars’ home and host institutions. MSU is considered a priority institution for developing international exchange by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

Dr. Wewer is a teacher trainer and teacher in bilingual instruction and English as a Foreign Language in the Teacher Training School of Turku University, Finland. In recent years, she has also been active in teacher in-service training pertaining to the 2016 reform of the National Core Curriculum for Basic Education. Other areas of her expertise are bilingual content instruction, curricular development, and language assessment, in particular alternative assessments. For the academic year 2016-2017, Dr. Wewer is lecturing on education in Finland and bilingual education as a Fulbright Scholar in Residence at Denison University, Ohio.

Mayville State Associate Professor of Education Dr. Sarah Anderson and University of North Dakota Professor Tami Carmichael worked collaboratively to apply for Dr. Wewer’s visit to North Dakota. The U.S. Department of State, which sponsors Fulbright programs, strongly encourages universities to maximize impact of exchange experiences by ensuring visiting scholars give lectures to various audiences in higher education. As such, Dr. Wewer’s itinerary includes discussions and planning sessions with faculty, presentations at both institutions, and workshops with teacher education candidates.

Dr. Wewer will provide the keynote session for the third annual Teacher Education Symposium hosted by MSU. The symposium creates a professional development opportunity for faculty, local teachers, and future teachers to learn alongside one another. Dr. Wewer will also contribute to the symposium panel discussion of the screening of Most Likely to Succeed, a documentary film which offers an inspiring look at what students and teachers are capable of – if we have the vision and courage to transform our schools. Dr. Wewer’s perspective from the Finnish educational system, which consistently comes out at the top of international rankings, will be valuable to inform the dialogue of improving learner outcomes. The film screening is sponsored by the Mayville Area Teacher Center.

The public is invited to attend a presentation by Dr. Taina Maarit Wewer scheduled for Tuesday, March 28 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the room 118 of the MSU Education Building. The title of the presentation is “The Curriculum Reform 2016 in Finland.” It is our privilege to host Dr. Wewer as she brings innovative ideas and practices to the teacher candidates at Mayville State University and promotes intercultural understanding. We hope you’ll participate in the evening session on Tuesday, March 28.