Finland Public Schooling
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Why Are Finland's Schools Successful?

Why Are Finland's Schools Successful? | Finland Public Schooling | Scoop.it
The country's achievements in education have other nations, especially the United States, doing their homework
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The notion of investing in the Finnish people is detailed in this article. After World War II and the acquistion of independence in Finland, this European nation had to rebuild itself. They decided to invest in the School. Much of the nation's money and resources were devoted to education and the rebuilding of the education in FInland. The School of Finland would be the solution for many of the social, political and economic problems within the country. WIthin this new proposal to invest in the school came the investment in teachers. Teachers were called to receive a 5th year masters degree from one of the eight universities in Finland that offer education; with an only 10% acceptance rate. The teachers in Finland are very intensive and invested into their students. The ratio of students to teachers is lower than most countries and within each classroom there are multiple teachers and aides that oversee the ongoings of education. The article gives us insight on what happens with the students who may need special attention and care. The students are paired with teachers who seemingly do whatever it takes to see that student succeed. Specialists are requested for those struggling in school and the specialists stick with the kids for however long it takes.

 

What is extremely interesting is the Finnish distaste for standardized testing. In America we are so conditioned and structured by assessments analyzing our "intelligence" that we aren't as properly instructed on how to learn. Many teachers here simply teach to the test because the results of tests are how both the students and teachers are evaluated. In Finland the teachers instruct their students on simply how to learn; tests dont tell you all there is to know about an individual. The only test that is throughly analyzed is the test taken after senior year of high school, the rest aren't publicized. The Finnish education system could care less about the rankings conducted by the Program For International Student Assessment (PISA)-which they score impressively high on. The standardized tests do not declare one's intelligence the Finns believe. Their students are taught to learn and to thrive in whichever path of life they may choose to pursue. Equipped by strong teachers and a supportive school system, the Finnish are doing what few nations have done: invest in people.  

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The Finnish miracle

The Finnish miracle | Finland Public Schooling | Scoop.it
No shoes but plenty of service: The surprising features of the world's top-performing schools.

 

Can you name a famous person in Finland? Historical episode? Imposing landmark? Foodstuff? It’s not that Finland doesn’t have its share of Olympic athletes, brilliant architects, and technology moguls, but "Nokia" is all most people can mutter when asked about this small northern nation.

Unless you're a teacher. Then the word "Finland" fills you with awe. Because everyone in the schooling profession knows that Finland is the international all-star of education.


Via Ulla M. Saikku
Tommy Hibbs's insight:

The investment in people is the strongest investment made in Finland. The Finnish nation has never been gifted with natural resources or favorable geography and to make up for these deficiencies the Finnish culture has always poured much of their time and money into people. Chief among these people are their teachers. The teaching profession is regarded as one of the most prominent and respectable professions in all of Finland; a remarkable 25% of all students aspire to be a teacher-10% of these being accepted into the program. These 10% must attain a masters degree before getting into the classroom full-time. The Finnish teachers are the foundation for the success in the small European nation. Teachers are heavily immersed into their students lives; helping them both inside and outside the classroom. The students are given what may be seen as unheard of freedom in the United States. Kids are trusted and given liberty in many facets of the schooling process; and this freedom brings about success.

 

This notion of free schooling is also one of the reasons the Finnish nation is seen as an "international all-star of education". Free education is offered to all. This free education is plausible due to the differences in economy between FInland and the United States of course, yet the results yield a "smarter" nation. The universities are all pretty similarly ranked and offer free education to those who receive admission. More educated parents usually breed the more educated children that populate the schools. Studies show that parents who have a higher educational background are more likely to be involved and advocate their child's studies than one who stopped their educational journey early. Easier access to education is essential to the "investment" made in the people of Finland; with a return that countless countries wish to replicate.

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Human Capital: The Formula That Makes Finland's Schools So Good - Worldcrunch

Human Capital: The Formula That Makes Finland's Schools So Good - Worldcrunch | Finland Public Schooling | Scoop.it
Human Capital: The Formula That Makes Finland's Schools So Good
Worldcrunch
Schools that welcome migrants receive more funding to teach Finnish as a second language.

Via Sinikka Laakio-Whybrow, Aki Puustinen
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The idea of "no pressure" aids to the success of the Finnish schools. The students call their teachers by first name and are not put under as much stress and scrutiny as students are in the States. How is this no pressure system rewarded? With a 93% pass rate; exceeding the 80% average passing rate worldwide. Assessments don't make or break a student, standardized tests dont define an individuals worth, and even homework is optional. School days are shorter and vacation away from school is longer than the general vacation given to other students worldwide. The average Finnish student is also not as expensive as the average student in another developed country. Where stress is low and the teaching environment is friendly and relaxed, Finland has the formula for education figured out and are maximizing their success as a nation in the schools.

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nouqs.: Finland's Education System

nouqs.: Finland's Education System | Finland Public Schooling | Scoop.it
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The cartoon above depicts the growth and flourishing of the educational system in Finland over the years 1970 and 2009. As seen above both the Finnish school and the American school are drawn in the year 1970. The American School appears bigger and better than the lesser, smaller School in Finland in the year 1970. The cartoon then draws what the Schools from each nation are like in the year 2009; 39 years later. The American School has not changed one bit. The traditional method of schooling utilized in the 1970's is still being utilized today- the cartoon states. The Finnish School, however, has transformed dramatically. The Finnish School of 2009 is much bigger and much better than the School of Finland of 1970 and appears to topple the stagnant school in the United States of 2009 as well. The picture indicates the evolution and growth the nation of FInand has undergone over the last few decades; whereas the American educational system has not changed much at all. The American School has become complacent and has stuck to the traditional method of teaching that worked for them in the 1970s; ignoring the modernization and technological changes within society. The Finnish educational system has adapted and changed with society, not being stubborn and going against the evolving society grain. Just recently in seminar we discussed whether or not schooling should change with the times. We all seemed to agree that a school should transform and adapt as society transforms and grows. The cartoon displays this adaptation for the Finnish and the traditional, slow growth of the United States.

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Finland's education success

When it comes to international results, Finland's schools score consistently at the top. However, pupils study the fewest number of class hours in the develo...
Tommy Hibbs's insight:

The "T" word is a word that all within the Finnish school system are familiar with: trust. The teachers trust their students and the students trust their teachers. This trust enables an education that is relaxed and stress-free. The students take off their shoes to begin their day and the teachers they have they've been with since they were young. The teachers stick with their students and "grow up" with their students as they move along throughout the school years.

 

The Finnish children begin their schooling at the age of seven, the oldest age for a child to start school in the developed world. The Finnish children also go to school for a shorter time each day and their school year is not nearly as long as the school year in the United States. How does less school equate greater success? The teachers. The teachers are required to attain a Masters Degree and develop a relationship with the students throughout their years in the school together. In some classrooms, as many as three teachers can be seen working with the students; each assigned to different tasks that will ultimately benefit the students most academically. By the age of 13 some students in Finland can speak 4 languages fluently. Kids of varying intelligences are all placed into the same classroom and the classroom is a team atmosphere; competition is not encouraged. Again, this notion of trust is weaved in throughout the classroom among the peers, teachers, and staff. Teachers are designated to help with those who may be having difficulty but it is heavily encouraged that the brighter kids in the classroom help coach the kids who are stuggling through the material.

 

The home life is where the education process begins. In the early years, the students are taught at home how to read and write by their parents and older siblings. By the age of seven the children are well prepared for organized education. The parents trust the teachers and the teachers trust the parents. This developed trust is a natural feeling in the Finnish schools and is the foundation for much of its success.

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