Fallacies and Facts about Finland’s Schools

When it comes to the educational system, many view Finland as the country with one of the best. Though it might not be No. 1 anymore in the world’s rankings, it is still much higher than many other places.

But when it comes to comprehending what Finland is doing, many are still quite confused. The following are some fallacies and facts about Finland’s schools.

Fallacy 1: Finland has done away with the usual subjects

It was reported before that Finland would do away with the usual subjects, choosing to implement project-based learning. While they are doing such projects, as schools are required to have at least one week in a year dedicated to them, the standard subjects are still present.

Fallacy 2: Finland has no homework

Finland does have homework. The amount, however, is much lower compared to most other schools around the world, allowing children more time for family and other activities.

Fallacy 3: All schools follow the same curriculum

The school system in Finland is quite different in that the schools are much more autonomous than schools in other parts of the world. While they do have a core curriculum, schools can design theirs according to how they think learning should be implemented. So in Finland, schools are not doing the same thing.

But there are some key takeaways from Finland about how schools should be run.

Fact 1: Schools should not be run like corporations

In many countries, schools are run like big businesses that aim for profits. Thus, they are always competing with one another for students and claims to “success.” So instead of helping one another improve, their idea is to be the best among the rest. In Finland, schools work with one another to improve education standards. There is more cooperation than competition because the end goal is for the whole country to succeed, not just a few recognizable institutions.

Fact 2: Teachers should continuously improve

In many schools worldwide, teaching is either seen as a temporary job or as work that almost anyone can do with minimal training. Hence, good teachers leave for other opportunities, while mediocre teachers are left behind. If countries want their education system to be great, then teachers must be committed to their craft, and schools must be willing to invest in further training for all.

Fact 3: School quality should not be based on standardized tests alone

Many schools aim to perform well in standardized exams, believing that high rankings mean their students are good. The problem is that learning suffers as only certain subjects and skillsets are prioritized. True learning involves the holistic development of the student. They must be able to analyze, discuss, think creatively, and many more. Standardized exams do not test all of these, which is hampering students’ learning.

Summary

Although some of the perceived wonders of Finland’s education system are not true, it still has one of the most respected school systems in the world. Educators should take note of the good things Finland is doing so that they can transform their school systems into something similar.

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