01/04/2017

Interview with Kyle Mokma from USA


This mini-interview was first published in the EURAXESS Worldwide North America newsletter in Focus on Estonia article in March 2017. Read full issue here.

1. How did you get the job in Estonia and why did you decide to work in Estonia?

I am interested in research in behavioral systems analysis. I am a Board certified assistant Behaviour Analyst. I came to Estonia working with an American family providing pediatric psychological services (Applied Behaviour Analysis services). Through this work I discovered that Estonia was attempting to modernize and create increased standards for services offered to children with developmental disabilities and autism. I decided to go to Tallinn University and speak with the head of the special education department to see if she would allow me to teach my profession, which is applied behaviour analysis.

She was excited to try this project and we started teaching graduate students basic theoretical knowledge about behaviourism and behavioural psychology in 2015 course titled Käitumise printsiibid (principals of behaviour) and a practicum course titled ABA Praktikum in the fall, that if passed allows the students to qualify to take a board examination through the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board to become a registered behaviour technician.

 

2. Name three characteristic things about research work in Estonia or about Estonia in general.

Research in Estonia is well organized and well funded. Attending the Welcoming Program is one of the best ways to become familiar with various funding mechanisms, and the overall structure of how research is conducted in Estonia. Research and projects in “smart” areas like cyber-security, information technology, e-governance are very well received here in Estonia as they are areas the government has deemed priority. Estonians are typically very open warm and welcoming to well thought out proposals and ideas.

 

3. A message to anyone from your country who is considering research work with Estonian partners or moving to Estonia for work.

Estonia is a beautiful country especially during the summer. The countryside is rich with old world culture. There are a number of new private international schools that teach in English and cater to the growing number of international families moving to Estonia to work in the booming IT sector. Estonia is very welcoming to the international community offering language courses, introductions to research, family life, legal system etc. Estonia is working very hard to be a welcoming place to the international community and that is very easy to see.