The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Pink Suit Pedagogy: Wellbeing and Self-Leadership in Curriculum Development

Ana Dimkar, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences (Finland)

Pia Kiviaho-Kallio, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences (Finland)


Individual and collective wellbeing are important considerations in the face of future challenges imposed by technological development. This paper examines the curriculum development at Finnish Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences from the perspective of student wellbeing and self-leadership. The new Haaga-Helia 2022 curriculum is reflected against the three dimensions of learning stated in the OECD Learning Compass 2030 as follows: cognitive, social and emotional, and metacognitive skills. Each dimension is composed of a set of transversal competencies that are considered important for navigating in modern society. The focus of the study is on the piloting of a Wellbeing and Self-Leadership course designed for first-year bachelor-level students.

The methodological approach of the study is qualitative and the investigation is anchored in teaching practice. Course journals are analyzed by content analysis and the course designer is interviewed on transversal competencies, student empowerment and curriculum development. Additionally, the reflection is based on collegial discussions between the two authors. Kiviaho-Kallio was appointed lecturer for the Wellbeing and Self-Leadership course, whereas Dimkar´s role is that of an objective observer of the piloting process. The title for the paper, Pink Suit Pedagogy, was derived from an initial lesson on self-image, where the topic was introduced by a picture of Finnish ballet dancer Atte Kilpeläinen wearing a pink tailcoat suit to the official Finnish Independence Day Ball. Among traditional black tailcoats, the pink version manifests qualities such as courage, playfulness and a healthy self-confidence – all representing transversal competencies for the future.

The outcome of the Wellbeing and Self-Leadership course suggests a need for introspection and calm comfort in a competitive academic environment. As summarized by a student: “This course in my opinion was really calming and refreshing. I was able to do other exercises apart from every day of writing long assignments and reports and therefore it helped me to be more relaxed in school surroundings, where I usually feel stressed. And at the same time, I was able to learn more about myself and the values that I have in me.”



Curriculum Development, Self-Leadership, Transversal Competencies, Wellbeing



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