Interesting Teaching Concept

Finland is restructuring how they teach- removing “subjects” and teaching “topics”. For some reason this new teaching concept interests me. I can’t wait to see how it all works and the learning that happens. Definitely a different way to view teaching.

Historically, Finland has been studied by other countries all over the world as a model educational system. I found this general article about the fascinating educational philosophies in Finland on Smithsonian magazine website and this quote stood out:

There are no mandated standardized tests in Finland, apart from one exam at the end of students’ senior year in high school. There are no rankings, no comparisons or competition between students, schools or regions. Finland’s schools are publicly funded. The people in the government agencies running them, from national officials to local authorities, are educators, not business people, military leaders or career politicians. Every school has the same national goals and draws from the same pool of university-trained educators. The result is that a Finnish child has a good shot at getting the same quality education no matter whether he or she lives in a rural village or a university town. The differences between weakest and strongest students are the smallest in the world, according to the most recent survey by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “Equality is the most important word in Finnish education. All political parties on the right and left agree on this,” said Olli Luukkainen, president of Finland’s powerful teachers union.

Ninety-three percent of Finns graduate from academic or vocational high schools, 17.5 percentage points higher than the United States, and 66 percent go on to higher education, the highest rate in the European Union. Yet Finland spends about 30 percent less per student than the United States.

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One thought on “Interesting Teaching Concept

  1. The idea of teaching without using subjects reminds me of a homeschool curricula for students below sixth grade called F.I.A.R. (Five in a Row) or ‘Lap Books’. It uses classic short stories and later novels to teach all the subjects around a particular topic; in this case literature. So, with the old story of ‘Ping’, the literature dictates the path of the subject and can cover everything from math (counting by 2’s backwards and forwards) and then social studies (China, rivers and water ways and maps) Science (landforms or the water cycle) and of course comprehension, dictation, writing, speaking and art. Love it!

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