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Effecting Change, Finland's Education System, Good Teaching, Government Policy, Research on Education

Pasi Sahlberg part 1 – A Dream Finnish Line

how_finland_became_an_educational_leader-460x307Today I had the fortune to spend two hours listening to Pasi Sahlberg talk about education.

He didn’t rant, he didn’t rave, in fact he didn’t even sound impassioned – here just talked sense.  He didn’t have notes or a crib sheet, and he didn’t have a political agenda – he just spoke about something he understands well.  It was really quite something.

The talk covered so many very interesting points that I’m breaking it up into a number of shorter blogs to make it digestible.

Here I will just outline some facts about Finland’s education system, without commentary, and leave it to you to think about and comment on them.

Facts About The Finnish Education System

  • All education is 100% publicly funded in Finland.
  • All school materials (books, pencils, etc) are provided and are free.
  • Dental and health care is free.
  • Travel to and from school is free.
  • Compulsory schooling starts the year the child turns 7 years old.
  • Students have the same teacher from year 1 to year 6, then specialist teachers for the final 3 years.
  • There is no testing until children are 15 years old.
  • Only the core curricula are designed for nationwide application. They leave freedom for local education authorities to arrange teaching in the best way suited to local circumstances.
  • There are no national standards.
  • Every child is fed a hot 3 course meal every day at school.
  • Every school has a doctor, a nurse, and a counsellor on site.
  • Teachers have less student contact time and more teacher-teacher contact time.
  • The schools day is shorter.
  • School is 150 days per year.
  • All teachers have a masters degree and a further teaching qualification.
  • There are no school inspections in Finland.

Finland is consistently in the top 5 countries in the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) lists.  These are the December 2010 figures:

Finland’s results: score points   OECD countries all participants
Reading literacy  536  2nd  3rd
Mathematical literacy  541  2nd  6th
Scientific literacy  554  1st  2nd

Makes you think, doesn’t it.

Read Part Two Here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sources:

Pasi Sahlber’s talk at Bayfield School, Auckland, NZ, 5th October 2012.

http://www.minedu.fi/pisa/2009.html?lang=en

http://www.minedu.fi/pisa/taustaa.html?lang=en

http://www.minedu.fi/pisa/piirteita.html?lang=en

http://www.oecd.org/edu/EAG2012%20-%20Key%20Facts%20-%20Finland.pdf

http://www.salon.com/2011/07/18/tony_wagner_finland/

About Save Our Schools NZ

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi

Discussion

6 thoughts on “Pasi Sahlberg part 1 – A Dream Finnish Line

  1. To quote from a wonderful musical … “Wouldn’t it be luverly!!” 🙂

    Like

    Posted by Deb Mitchell | October 14, 2012, 8:25 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Pasi Sahlberg part 1 – A Dream Finnish Line | Education NZ | Scoop.it - October 5, 2012

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