Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Finnish Education Success | Why Finnish Schools Are Ranked Number One

What Makes the Finnish Educational System a Success | Why are Finnish Schools Ranked Number One? The Finnish schools are successful because they focus on educational equity, not ranking or competition, and amazingly they do not have the stated goal of academic excellence. Students, teachers and schools are not constantly being tested, evaluated and ranked on all aspects of the Finnish educational system system. Finnish schools have the amazing goal of education equity!  Teachers are treated as professionals and amazingly they are supported by parents, students, and the nation. The YouTube videos below will give you an insight into the Finnish educational model that is # 1 in the world!

 I attended Uppsala University in Sweden between 1998-1999, and studied for my E.U. masters in Multicultural education. I was fortunate enough to travel to Finland and 27 other countries during my studies in Europe, visiting students in my cohort, and learning about them and their educational systems. Most systems are very similar to the US and British systems. The Scandinavian and especially the Finnish educational model works far better than all of them, because of Scandinavian socialism yes, but they use a bottom up approach. The Finns use a model that is teacher centered (child centered) not top down, with the industrial book publishers, education reformers, test publisher, educational lobbyist, politicians, and top heavy administration dictating every aspect of the US education model!

The Finnish education system is an egalitarian system, with no tuition fees and with free meals served to full-time students. The present Finnish education system consists of well-funded and carefully thought out daycare programs (for babies and toddlers) and a one-year "pre-school" (or kindergarten for six-year olds); a nine-year compulsory basic comprehensive school (starting at age seven and ending at the age of sixteen); post-compulsory secondary general academic and vocational education; higher education (University and Polytechnical); and adult (lifelong, continuing) education. The Nordic strategy for achieving equality and excellence in education has been based on constructing a publicly funded comprehensive school system without selecting, tracking, or streaming students during their common basic education. Part of the strategy has been to spread the school network so that pupils have a school near their homes whenever possible or, if this is not feasible, e.g. in rural areas, to provide free transportation to more widely dispersed schools. Inclusive special education within the classroom and instructional efforts to minimize low achievement are also typical of Nordic educational systems. Wiki

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