Despite the fact that Finland consistently ranks as one of the highest-scoring countries in international assessments and has been lauded for its “free and fair” educational mentality, the government continues to strive towards making the country’s educational system better. Its latest step: getting rid of all the traditional school subjects. Instead of beginning the day with math, then moving to history, followed by several other subjects, students in Finland will be schooled with an interdisciplinary approach that combines lessons on a variety of topics in a compelling curriculum.
The head of the Department of Education cites this change as a necessary one: “There are schools that are teaching in the old-fashioned way which was of benefit in the beginning of the 1900s — but the needs are not the same, and we need something fit for the 21st century.“
RELATED | Finland’s unconventional & effective educational approach focuses on equality over excellence
Finland is going to test out its new model on “senior students” defined as those who are 16 or older. This age group, close to leaving home for college or work, is a smart choice. Not only will the students get to witness how their knowledge can be applied, this interdisciplinary approach will also serve to engage them at a time when some students begin to lose interest in traditional school and wonder when they are ever going to use a particular subject outside of the classroom. The new learning modules will give the teens some freedom in choosing what they want to study, taking into consideration their own interests and professional goals.
These educational changes, which also include doing away with desks in favor of working in small groups, will require teachers to work more together and undergo additional training. Because this is all happening in Finland, the teachers will get a pay raise as they navigate the new system. Given that Finland is often ranked number one in the world for parents too, we probably should have packed our bags to move there a long time ago. The school changes are expected to be completed by 2020.
via Bright Side