The Latest School Reform in Finland Introduces a New Way to Look at Subjects
In its latest efforts to keep improving its curriculum and make its pupils more equipped to succeed in the modern world, Finland has rethought the concept of a subject for its basic schools (students aged 7 to 16).
Taking education reform seriously since the 1970s, Finland has climbed the international education ratings by doing several things: 1) it bets on highly competent teachers, 2) it recognizes the huge importance of early childhood education, 3) it gives local schools the autonomy to address local needs by decentralizing administration, 4) it guarantees a uniform and free (including meals, transportation and school materials) education for all students. As a result, Finnish students score higher than most of their peers on international assessment tests, despite peculiarities like having minimal homework and tests, and also a curriculum that puts a big emphasis on music, the arts, and outdoor activities.
In its latest efforts to keep improving the curriculum and making its pupils more equipped to succeed in the modern world, Finland has rethought the concept of a subject for its basic schools (students aged 7 to 16). With its new National Curriculum Framework 2016 (NCF), Finland emphasizes the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to education and introduces the concept of “phenomenon-based” teaching, which will result in classes on broader topics such as European Union, Climate Change, Community.
Phenomenon-based teaching will teach students how to apply a variety of skills and knowledge in a single class. This approach resembles much more closely real-life problem solving and will give pupils a more clear understanding of the complexity of the world.
Schools across the country will have to introduce at least one such class or project during the school year. One of the most innovative parts of the NCF is that students must be involved in the planning of phenomenon-based study periods and that they must have voice in assessing what they have learned from it.
Finland's constant strive towards innovating and improving on its educational system is truly commendable. As Ms Irmeli Halinen, Head of curriculum development with Finnish National Board of Education explains:
“We are often asked why improve the system that has been ranked as top quality in the world. But the answer is: because the world is changing. We have to think and rethink everything connected to school. We also have to understand that competencies needed in society and in working life have changed.”
Photo: Phillipe Put (Flickr)
- The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
- Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
- Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
If you're lacking confidence and feel like you could benefit from an ego boost, try writing your life story.
In truth, so much of what happens to us in life is random – we are pawns at the mercy of Lady Luck. To take ownership of our experiences and exert a feeling of control over our future, we tell stories about ourselves that weave meaning and continuity into our personal identity.
The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.
- U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
- A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
- Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
A space memorial company plans to launch the ashes of "Pikachu," a well-loved Tabby, into space.
- Steve Munt, Pikachu's owner, created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the mission.
- If all goes according to plan, Pikachu will be the second cat to enter space, the first being a French feline named Felicette.
- It might seem frivolous, but the cat-lovers commenting on Munt's GoFundMe page would likely disagree.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.