The Helsinki Reflexive Tool: to help support and teach newly arrived migrant pupils

Helsinki Reflexive Tool 


Aims of the Helsinki tool

In order to prepare teachers to teach effectively to children with highly diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds without any knowledge of the school language and sometimes without any school experience, there are many more competencies needed than those required for the regular teacher. Teaching competencies include a complex combination of knowledge, skills, understanding, values, and attitudes that will lead to effective action in situations.


  • To offer a tool to train teachers to support and teach Newly Arrived Migrant Pupils (NAMS) effectively;
  • To provide schools with teachers who have a better understanding of ethnic-cultural diversity and who possess the skills to develop the right incentives regarding the personal development of the children.


Implementing the Helsinki tool

  • The following objectives for self-assessing competencies are divided into 5 parts:
  1. Teaching as ‘real’ and honest empowering.
  2. Valuing the presence of NAMs.
  3. Paying attention to discourses and behaviours.
  4. Using the school environment for inclusion and giving a voice.
  5. Playing a more active role in relation to NAMs.


Possible practices of self-reflexivity

  • Self-analyzing your own lessons – through recording and listening back to your own utterances.
  • Working with other teachers in peer-to-peer activities – whereby teachers sit in and observe the lessons of other teachers.
  • Using a reflexive diary to chart your experiences.