Lifelong learning

A Nordic perspective on green career guidance

Kalle Vihtari and Nanna Heinø Mortensen from NVL’s Nordic Network for Guidance held a presentation at the Greenland Guidance Conference in Nuuk on September 12 2023.

A Nordic perspective on green career guidance

A Nordic perspective on green career guidance

Kalle Vihtari and Nanna Heinø Mortensen from NVL’s Nordic Network for Guidance held a presentation at the Greenland Guidance Conference in Nuuk on September 12 2023.

Kalle Vihtari and Nanna Heinø Mortensen’s contribution to the conference “Redefining Guidance – Collaborating in the Field of Guidance” examined adult guidance and guidance competences in the green transition.

See a recording of Kalle Vihtari and Nanna Heinø Mortensen’s presentation here:

Kalle Vihtari and Nanna Heinø Mortensen share their reflections from the conference in the article below:

When developing career guidance environments, it is good to identify and be aware of the dimensions that arise from the local operating environment that affect career guidance services. These do not always open up just by reading reports and articles or in remote encounters. The conference provided a unique opportunity to hear about the current state of study and career guidance in Greenland, as well as future visions and strategies.

In this case, just coming there was an eye-opening experience in many ways. From a Finnish and Danish perspective, “guidance in rural areas” takes on completely new perspectives when the reality of distances and their impact on guidance services are observed on the way to Nuuk. In Finland, a guidance counsellor in a small town can work alone in an educational institution, but he or she usually has colleagues within driving distance who do similar jobs. In Greenland, distances and collegial support can be very far away. Modern technology enables remote collegial support, but judging by the hallway speech, the biennial guidance conference was a really nice meeting place for many Greenlandic guidance counsellors.
The discussions in the corridors and during coffee breaks were certainly rewarding for the participants. Likewise, those informal discussions were very fruitful for us. In the case of online meetings, this is not always possible and natural. Informal speeches also provide more detailed images of the everyday life of guidance and teaching.

The importance and meaning of the Greenlandic language as a part of the overall guidance was seen and heard in a very tangible way when we got to enjoy simultaneous interpretation. At the conference, we also heard a discussion about the status of English and Danish as part of the language of education and guidance. Participating in the conference on-site also helped to hear and understand ethical problems related to guidance in Greenland. Each country and region has its own historical and cultural background, which contributes to the overall organization of career guidance. It is not so easy to understand them via online meetings, but you can access them by seeing the whole operating environment.

At the conference, we were able to hear about current phenomena in Greenlandic guidance and counselling. The presentation of application systems, discussion of services for student care, locating guidance through professional role, and areas for development in the education system were highlighted in the speeches and workshops. As a whole, there were general phenomena in the field of guidance that could be better accessed through the perception of locality. The mere fact that simultaneous interpretation is present immediately adds its own dimension to understanding the overall situation of guidance.

Participating in the conference was a place to see and better understand the scope of the Nordic network as well. By seeing different guidance environments and getting to know different guidance systems, we can develop even better guidance for adults in the Nordic countries. There is something to learn from all regions and all countries.

By Kalle Vihtari, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Science and Nanna Heinø Mortensen, HK Danmark.
Kalle and Nanna are members of NVL’s Nordic Network for Guidance.

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