HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Editorials & Other Articles (Forum) » FINLAND'S School System I...

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 02:52 PM

FINLAND'S School System Is The Envy Of The World, It's Easy To See Why

'Top of the class: Labour seeks to emulate Finland's school system.' After the party’s conference pledge to scrap Ofsted & private schools, does the envied Finnish education system provide the blueprint? The Guardian, Sept. 27, 2019. Excerpts:

It’s early afternoon in Lintulaakson school in Espoo, near Helsinki. The younger children are having a snack before starting their after-school activities. Upstairs a group of 12-year-olds are in a craft class, cutting patterns and making clothes on sewing machines. Outside, children play in an enormous outdoor space, equipped with a climbing frames, football pitches and basketball courts. “Hey, Petteri,” one boy yells casually at the principal, Petteri Kuusimäki. “Next year can we start school a bit later, at 10am?” Kuusimäki jokes with them. It’s all first names here.

The Finnish education system is the envy of the world. Along with Tove Jansson’s Moomins, Nokia phones and Iittala glassware, it has become one of the country’s most celebrated exports – and it’s easy to see why. Its students consistently score well at the top end of the Pisa international league tables, and as Kuusimäki walks me round his school he describes a kind of education utopia – a place where teachers are highly trained, revered and trusted, and children’s wellbeing is paramount. There are no Ofsted-style inspections, no streaming by ability, no national exams until 18, no school uniforms, no school league tables and no fee-paying private schools..

Every year hundreds of delegations of teachers and policymakers from all over the world pour into Helsinki to see this nirvana for themselves. So popular has it become that international visits are strictly regulated and have to be paid for – a presentation costs €682 (£607) per hour and a school visit €1,240. In the past two months there have been groups from Israel, Brazil, China and Korea. In the coming weeks there will be visits from New Zealand and Lithuania. Meanwhile, Finland’s influence is spreading far and wide. Last month a school opened in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam based on the Finnish curriculum and pedagogical approach, with Finnish staff on the teaching team.

Kuusimäki tells me Finland’s schools are well-funded and built around the principle of equality of opportunity for all pupils..There is just one fee-paying school in the country, the International School of Helsinki, which has mainly catered for international employees of Nokia and other industries. Otherwise, charging fees is illegal and parents are happy by and large to send their children to their local school. “We really don’t have bad schools,” Kuusimäki says.

In class children are listened to and respected, school lunches are free, detentions are rare and exclusions pretty much unheard of. Kuusimäki gave his last detention 15 years ago, and is visibly horrified at the idea of excluding a child from school. “As a principal, you can’t think like that. We are responsible for these children and their lives. We can’t give up.”...

More, https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/sep/27/top-class-finland-schools-envy-world-ofsted-education



4 replies, 1276 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply FINLAND'S School System Is The Envy Of The World, It's Easy To See Why (Original post)
appalachiablue Sep 2019 OP
murielm99 Sep 2019 #1
appalachiablue Sep 2019 #2
wcast Sep 2019 #3
appalachiablue Sep 2019 #4

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 03:28 PM

1. This is not the first time that I have seen this.

Thanks for posting.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to murielm99 (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 03:35 PM

2. Best explanation I've seen. The US has a lot of catching up to do.

>" a place where teachers are highly trained, revered and trusted, and children’s wellbeing is paramount."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 03:41 PM

3. Unfortunately where a student lives dictates the quality of education that student receives.

Schools in economcally distressed areas, including both rural and inner city schools, have a much lower level of funding. Class sizes are larger, resources are scarce, and teaching staff is frustrated and demoralized.

We are given a lot of excuses for why we can't implement Finland's model but it comes down to an unwillingness to pay for a quality education for poor and non-white students. Not every one can have a parent who can bribe people to get you into UCLA.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wcast (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 03:49 PM

4. Much funding is based on property taxes I believe. That's

not healthy overall, plus the expansion of private, for profit schools and pervasive class and race divisions.

But the US can work to improve the issue, the deficits are clearly harmful.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread