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|
Makes you think, doesn’t it.
Pasi Sahlber’s talk at Bayfield School, Auckland, NZ, 5th October 2012.