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Report to Council Julie Podbury’s tour to Finland 2012.

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1 Report to Council Julie Podbury’s tour to Finland 2012

2 Finland - General  Monocultural society  Highest PISA Literacy & Numeracy Results with Highest Social equity ( see following graph)  Education is culturally very highly valued  Majority of citizens have university education  Parents expect their students to reach Tertiary education

3 Average performance of 15-year-olds in science – extrapolate and apply Low average performance Large socio-economic disparities High average performance Large socio-economic disparities Low average performance High social equity High average performance High social equity Strong socio- economic impact on student performance Socially equitable distribution of learning opportunities High reading performance Low reading performance

4 Durchschnittliche Schülerleistungen im Bereich Mathematik Low average performance Large socio-economic disparities High average performance Large socio-economic disparities Low average performance High social equity High average performance High social equity Strong socio- economic impact on student performance Socially equitable distribution of learning opportunities High reading performance Low reading performance 2009

5 Basics of the education system  Students start school at 7 years of age  Pre- school year at 6 years of age  From 9 months – 6 years pre schooling available with highly qualified staff supporting child’s learning, growth and development.  Key words in Finnish education quality, efficiency, equity and internationalization.

6 Other factors  education is not run by politicians  Very little accountability and bureaucracy  TRUST of teachers. No inspectors. There is a A certain knowledge held by Government & the community that what is going on in the schools is exactly right.  5 years for Masters in Primary Education. All teachers have Masters

7 Schools  Pre primary 9 months to 6 years  Pre-school 6 years  Basic Comprehensive education from 7 years of Age Years 1-9  Upper secondary Y10-12 stream to academic or vocational  University or Polytechnic from either upper secondary stream

8 Primary school  Lower end of comprehensive  4 hours per day 8-12  Free school lunch  Free transport to/from school  Free textbooks & materials  After school kids usually go to clubs or other activities

9 Middle school (14 year old)  30 hours per week  75 minute periods  3 languages. Finnish, Swedish and English  Very little subject choice although you can do an additional language  Very little IT evident in schools

10 Upper Secondary  Y10-12 Academic (60%)or vocational colleges (40%)  8am to 4 pm, 5 terms, incomplete days if desired  75 courses to complete upper secondary qualification 36-38hrs each  Then you can undertake matriculation and do university entrance exam

11 Reports  Two formal report per year  Junior brief comment  From Y8-12 number level 1-9  Some schools starting to open IT dialogue with parents  Very little testing  Mostly assignment and book work

12 Teachers  Salary is very low by Australian standards  Starts at around $27K AUD pa increments at years 1, 5, 8, 10, 20 and none higher  Teachers can earn higher salaries for more hours  Hours as average set by government eg: Finnish 20 hours, History 23 hours, Maths & Science 21 hours, English 22  Teachers work independently with full autonomy

13 Points of interest  Class sizes primary, junior high, senior high up to 30  Practical classes, inc. science max 16  School size max 1000 (seen as too big)  92% go from comprehensive to Upper sec  Min/max no hour per subject set by govt. delivery and much of the content teacher choice

14 Teacher training  12 teacher training institutions in Finland and they are all on school sites  attached to universities  practical teaching component is a major aspect of the highly qualified Finnish teachers  Duties of Teacher Training Schools  Provide teaching  Tutor student teachers  Teaching experiments and research  Also provide in-service education

15 More on teachers  8000 students, 3000 student teachers and 800 teachers in all Teacher Training Schools in Finland  Training provided for comprehensive and upper secondary  Slightly higher pay at TTC, but it is part of our work. Slightly less lessons. It is 1/4 or 1/5 of the typical Finnish load.  In most cases 5 teachers in a class. (TTC) I main teacher plus four trainees students love it.  PD NEVER allowed on school days

16 Good average results  Very old fashioned teaching  Teacher directed  Text book driven  No catering for brighter kids  Brighter students seemed bored  Best teaching from an Australian teacher in an English/Drama class


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