In 1993 Mr Johannes Partanen founded the TeamAcademy (Tiimiakatemia) at Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences. At that time a revolutionary form of training combines the worlds of business and education. In short, TA means learning in teams through active practical work: "learning by doing" and "teamlearning." Specifically you can read about TA here. Or the latest (2017) overview is here. TA methodology has now spread around the world, and for a better understanding of it, see this video. TA methodology is chosen to be among 25 best practices in Europe and also got some other prizes which recognize its innovative input to entrepreneurship studies.
But what is the TOY model? TOY is TA's little brother that was born 10 years later, the desire to provide vocational learners the opportunity to gain practical knowledge of the entrepreneurship and implement the team teaching methods in vocational training in general. The development of TOY-model has been guided over last decade by Ms Minna Erkko. Under her leadership and with the funding of the Finnish state a project called HOPE spread TOY-model to many Finnish vocational schools. Minna is also closely associated with the project TOY.VET. Along with very experienced team coaches trainer Ms Jaana Hiltunen help the partners of the TOY.VET project will put the TOY model into operation. About the TOY model there is available a booklet in English. The Finnish network of TOY model has a webpage with more detailed information.
How will be studying in the TOY model? Key elements of the model are teamlearning, learning by doing, regular team learning sessions with a team coach, continuous self-reflection. TOY model is very flexible, you can create your own system, each team coach and each new group will affect the work done in a team.
Who is the teamcoach? This is a person who is adequately trained, it can be a teacher, but does not have to be. S/he must be able to coach the work of the team and notice each team member's personal development. S/he must, in particular to support learning, not by teaching but by listening and coaching.
In Tartu Art College the piloting of the TOY-model started in spring 2014. In autumn, the school offers students the opportunity to choose between on-the-job learning period or the entrepreneurial practice in TOY-model. The methodology of TOY-model will also be used in other courses, especially with practical students' projects.