3 QUESTIONS CHECKIN - Q&A with a teacher from Finland

Hanna Kökkö a teacher at Iittalan Comprehensive School in Finland
Teacher at Iittalan Comprehensive School in Finland, Hanna Kökkö




23.05.2024 kl.14:23

In a series of short interviews we explore the thoughts various interested parties have on art experiences for young audiences. Our first interview is with Hanna Kökkö who works as a teacher at Iittalan Comprehensive School in Finland, a partner in The WOW Experience.

First, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm a teacher of English and Swedish for 6-9th grade students. I've been teaching for 30 years now. I'm also a writer, I've published 15 novels for children and young people. I'm very much into music and arts. I sing in a choir and I go to concerts, gigs and art exhibitions quite frequently. 


1. What is your best memory from a concert or performing art experience?

My best memory of a concert was when Bruce Springsteen performed live at Helsinki Olympic Stadium in 2012, playing for almost five hours (his record, by the way)!


2. Do you believe that art and culture are important for the development of children and young people? 

I think cultural experiences are an essential part of children's development. They should be exposed to as many different types of cultural events as possible and given the chance to explore their attitudes and emotions afterwards. 


3. Do you use professional art experiences in your efforts to reach academic or social goals for your pupils? 

I see culture as a part of all learning. I use music and arts in teaching, and I want to give the students tasks where they have to think about their relationship to culture. Learning a language means finding a sort of new identity, learning ways to express your thoughts and feelings, learning who you are. Professional art experiences can have a big part in that process. 

Moreover, when the students can participate and work together for an event at school, it helps them to find their own strengths. And seeing what the artists have achieved when following their passion guides the young people towards their own dreams.