I was always interested in these rankings that place countries on the top of education in the world. Although they are subjective and give margin to a lot of discussions, there is one country that, year after year, seems to appear always at the top five. And that is Finland!
One of the most accepted and respected rankings is the PISA, which considers the results of tests in reading, science, and math from a lot of countries around the globe. Although Finland scored high on all of those subjects, the fact that they don’t care about the results of those tests is the main factor for its success.
Actually, the first standardized test the Finns take at school is when they reach the age of 16. They are more interested in the “learning for life” idea than on the scores “one size fits all”. So, predominantly, the schools in Finland are worried about preparing their students for the challenges they will face in their lives, instead of focusing on competition between their students. In accordance to that, some years ago, the schools in Finland implemented the “phenomenon-based” teaching rather than subject teaching. In other words, instead of focusing on teaching math, science and other traditional subjects, they adopted a strategy of mixing them up in more contextual and broader subjects like climate changing and European Union. This way, they can learn all of those traditional subjects as a multidisciplinary and interconnected way.
“Exercise improves learning on three levels: It optimizes your mindset, by improving alertness, attention, and motivation. It prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to one another, which is the cellular basis for learning new information. And it spurs the development of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain related to memory and learning.”
At last, but not least, everybody wants to be a teacher in Finland. That’s right, it’s one of the most desired courses in the universities, which have strict requirements for one to get in. Finish schools demand at least a master’s degree for teachers to start teaching in their schools. In addition to that, the career plan teachers get are really worth it, with a lot of professional development time provided. Moreover, teachers are very well paid there and “hHigh school teachers with 15 years of experience make 102 percent of what their fellow university graduates do. In the United States, by contrast, they earn just 65 percent.”
On a final note, I want to thank @mwleyland and the others in this cohort for inspiring me to research about this subject, which I’ve been wanting to do it for so long. I always wanted to check what other countries in the world are doing to revolutionize education. Coincidently, the video about “Studio Schools”, which Michael recommended me on my last post, matches what Finland has been doing with their public educational system.