Finland is revolutionising the way we approach schools, teaching, and learning with its equality-based education system.“Equal means that we support everyone and we’re not going to waste anyone’s skills. We don’t know what our kids will turn out like—we can’t know if one first-grader will become a famous composer, or another a famous scientist. Regardless of a person’s gender, background, or social welfare status, everyone should have an equal chance to make the most of their skills.” (1)
In a Finnish school, there is no stigma about vocational education(1). Starting from kindergarden, children are taught the importance of cooperation and communication, inside and outside the classroom. All students learn at least three languages up to high school.“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.”(2)
Breaking out of being in the middle of political rivalries for centuries, Finland chose educational reform as their best aid to recovery.“In a Finnish classroom, it is rare to see a teacher standing at the front of a classroom lecturing students for 50 minutes. Instead, students are likely to determine their own weekly targets with their teachers in specific subject areas and choose the tasks they will work on at their own pace. In a typical classroom, students are likely to be walking around, rotating through workshops or gathering information, asking questions of their teacher, and working with other students in small groups. They may be completing independent or group projects or writing articles for their own magazine. The cultivation of independence and active learning allows students to develop metacognitive skills that help them to frame, tackle, and solve problems; evaluate and improve their own work; and guide their learning processes in productive ways.”(3)
The Finnish education system is now a poster-model for activity-based educationalists. Not only is it inclusive of all children and careers paths, but it is a high-achieving system that has yielded sustainable growth for the nation.
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