Finland Schools Serving Up Educational Lessons


Finland has become a model for teachers across the globe hoping to learn about educational success. Attracting the best and brightest to the teaching profession is among the key benefits for the Scandinavian nation, which prides itself on rewarding those teachers with more autonomy. The Christian Science Monitor reports:

No single factor can explain the students’ strong showing. They grow up in a highly literate, bilingual society (Finnish and Swedish, with most learning English as well). Finns also enjoy strong governmental supports for parental leave, day care, and healthcare (in exchange for high taxes), which means that problems associated with poverty don’t show up at the schoolhouse door nearly as often as in the US.

One essential element, though, is the high caliber of Finland’s teaching corps, education leaders say. "We trust our teachers," says Reijo Laukkanen, head of international relations at the Finnish National Board of Education in Helsinki. "That is very important, and it’s not easy to realize in all countries – the culture of trust we have in Finland."

Since 1979, master’s degrees have been required for teaching in primary and secondary schools. And the profession is so popular – even with its moderate salaries – that only 10 to 15 percent of applicants make it into university teacher-education programs…

While many American teachers have been chafing under the accountability systems of the federal No Child Left Behind law in recent years, autonomy is a hallmark of the teaching profession in Finland. "There’s nobody who supervises if we follow [the curriculum]," says Marja Asikainen, a longtime English teacher at the Länsimäki School. "They trust us that we’ll follow it, and Finnish teachers are rather free … to do it in their own way."

Finnish teaching places a strong emphasis on helping students become independent thinkers. "We don’t want to give only ready answers," says Liisa Norvanto, a primary teacher at the school. "We want to teach them to explore their surroundings…. We try to teach them how to compare knowledge … and be critical."

0 thoughts on “Finland Schools Serving Up Educational Lessons

  1. Finland is great. Are we committed to eduction like Finland? Not a chance. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    Finnish children start comprehensive school at the age of seven. This instruction, which is free of charge for the entire age group, takes nine years. Every Finn is covered by compulsory education up to the age of 17 or completion of comprehensive school. Comprehensive school education is provided by the child’s home municipality, and the network of primary-level schools is dense. All basic education materials are free of charge for the children, and services include a free hot meal every day, school health care and free transport to school for children who live too far from the school to walk or use public transport.

    For some years now, preparatory pre-school instruction has been provided for six-year-olds, covering most of the age group.

    Finland is a bilingual country, and instruction is provided equally in Finnish and in Swedish. Major cities have schools providing instruction in other languages, too, accessible to both Finnish and immigrant children.

    It is also the duty of local authorities to provide instruction for young people and children who are unable to participate in ordinary comprehensive school instruction through illness or disability. Practically every Finnish child goes to school.
    Upper secondary schools and basic vocational education

    Approximately 50% of each age group continue to upper secondary schools. Municipally provided upper secondary level instruction is also free of charge and includes a hot meal every school day. The course-based curriculum covering a great many optional subjects takes an average of three years and ends with the national matriculation exam. Matriculation provides a foundation for continuation of studies in institutions of higher education or vocational training institutes.

  2. I greet you in the name of the lord.Am a Rwandan gentleman of 20 years hoping to have a chance of pursuing high education in Finland.I do thank you for providing this opportunity.Hope to here from you soon.thanks

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