Wednesday 3 April 2013

Schools in Finnland

Education counsellor Reijo Laukkanen says:

“Finnland is a society based on equity.. .Japan and Korea are highly competitive societies - if you're not better than your neighbor, your parents pay to send you to night school. In Finland, outperforming your neighbor isn't very important. Everybody is average, but you want that average to be very high."

Eeva Penttila, Head of International Relations Helsinki Education Department:

“The State wants the citizens to be happy, to have a high quality of education and also to have a very good self-esteem, those are our main goals…”

“In kindergarten, they have a curriculum but it’s based on play, not on academic learning…Kindergarten and pre-school (6 year olds) are not compulsory.”

“The teachers’ profession here is valued in our country…We value education because we value those who are teaching us… (Teachers have autonomy to decide how their classrooms are run) …when you have autonomy, you have a huge responsibility.”

(There’s no students’ national assessment) “We only have one national test… at the age of 18.” (There are no standardized tests) “There’s ongoing self-assessment…The school board decides a self-assessment plan for their students.”

Timo Lankinen, Director General of the Finnish National Board of Education:  

“We have had big reforms…with vocation educational training…Finnish basic education…is based on giving high standards for all…we empower teaching profession and give high-quality teacher education…We also intervene early if there are children lagging behind. There’s an individual approach and we highlight active role of students a lot…If you look at learning environments in Finnish school, we have relatively small class sizes. So, there’s a possibility to individualize attention for each child. Also… relatively small school sizes.”

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