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Education in Finland Why Finnish kids are so smart? Virpi Sanders FFFC April 6 th, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Education in Finland Why Finnish kids are so smart? Virpi Sanders FFFC April 6 th, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Education in Finland Why Finnish kids are so smart? Virpi Sanders FFFC April 6 th, 2009

2 6/13/2014V.Sanders2 Content Pisa research Background for Finnish PISA success History of education in Finland Education and the Finnish society Education Development projects Science, Math, Literacy and Teacher training Future of Education in Finland

3 6/13/2014V.Sanders3 PISA in a nutshell = Programme for International Student Assessment Collaborative project of the OECD countries (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). The project came into being when there arose a need to develop indicators for cross-national comparisons in education. In 2006 there were 57 participating countries and 31 of them were OECD-countries. Finland has participated each time; 2000, 2003 and 2006

4 6/13/2014V.Sanders4 Background for Finnish PISA success Equal educational opportunities An integrated nine-year structure intended for the entire age group The education system is flexible and its administration is based on intense delegation and provision of support Co-operation between different levels of administration, schools and other sectors of society Focused on individual support for pupils learning and well-being and relevant guidelines Master degree required Pupils active involvement and interaction with teachers and fellow pupils. Pupils process and interpret the information that they absorb on the basis of their prior knowledge structures.

5 6/13/2014V.Sanders5 History of Education * The Finnish school system has been intentionally developed towards the comprehensive model, which guarantees everybody equal opportunities * Education reforms 1964 and 1968 * The parallel school system would be replaced by national nine-year basic education. In practice, the renewal was realized in Finland step by step between 1972 and 1977 * In 1985 the ability group system was abolished so that eligibility to further studies would be open to everyone. * 1990s: the role of central administration diminished * National Core Curriculum for Basic Education was introduced as from 16th January 2004

6 6/13/2014V.Sanders6 Education and the Finnish society An education system whose characteristics consist of uniformity, free education, school meals and special education by using the principle of inclusion. Small differences : the definition of admission areas, the lack of ranking lists, the even distribution of good teachers between schools. 73 % of the year olds have at least gained a certificate from upper secondary level and 33 % (the highest in the EU) have had a university or corresponding education. Slightly over 1% does not receive a comprehensive school leaving certificate

7 6/13/2014V.Sanders7 Education Development projects EU-funding from Lifelong Learning – programme The teachers are usually enthusiastic participants in the projects even if no additional funding is offered in their implementation. One of the reasons for this is their willingness to raise the status of their subjects, and their interest in improving the quality of their own work. Schools and their teachers can also easily be reached thanks to the good ICT infrastructure.

8 6/13/2014V.Sanders8 Science teaching and curriculum The revised National Core Curriculum pays more attention to knowledge structures of different natural sciences, as well as ways of acquiring information and their applications. The aim is to achieve in-depth understanding of knowledge by means of exploratory learning. According to the National Core Curriculum, instruction in natural sciences is characterized by a problem-based approach and experiential working methods. In terms of natural sciences, the objectives, core contents and the description of good competence set out within the curriculum emphasize a diverse learning environment.

9 6/13/2014V.Sanders9 Mathematics and curriculum The guidelines given by the expert group on mathematics established in 1992: Mathematics teaching would strive after goal- directed studying, classification of mathematical information, emphasizing acquisition of mathematical knowledge and use, problem solving and paying special attention to learning styles. Many of these recommendations and principles were included in the 1994 framework curriculum for mathematics.

10 6/13/2014V.Sanders10 Teacher Training Competent teachers Master degree required for class teacher or subject teacher post Lack of Math and Science teachers > in-service and conversion training Continuing teacher training

11 6/13/2014V.Sanders11 Literacy in Finland High esteem of reading in Finnish culture Large and dense network of public library The social status of mothers as an important role-models for girls Foreign films on TV provided with Finnish sub-titles instead of dubbing Net-surfing, SMS, role games

12 6/13/2014V.Sanders12 Future of Education Teachers professional skills Developing new teaching methods Guaranteed sufficient resources Benchmarking Pupils well-being

13 6/13/2014V.Sanders13 Sources and Contact info: Sources of Information: /index_en.html VIRPI SANDERS:


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