Finland’s schools score consistently at the top of world rankings, yet the pupils have the fewest number of class hours in the developed world.
“The educational system’s success in Finland seems to be part cultural. Pupils study in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.” Furthermore, “There is an emphasis on relaxed schools, free from political prescriptions.”
- There is very little immigration.
- Relaxed school free from politicians.
- Finland values education and parents know they have a key role to play.
- They stress trust and not competition as they do in the US and the UK.
- No one fails in Finnish schools. They sometimes have two or three teachers in a classroom; one assigned to the slow learners.
- Primary and secondary schooling is combined, so the pupils don’t have to change schools at age 13. They avoid a potentially disruptive transition from one school to another.
While watching the BBC video on families and schools in Finland, it struck me how important family structure and parents putting time into caring about their children’s school work, is critical to the child’s success.
Unlike Finland, California has high immigration rates and from talking to teachers, I’ve been told that many immigrant families, (mostly Mexican in southern California) do not enforce or help their kids with school work. Since many parents do not read, write or speak English, how can we achieve the results we see in Finland without a radical change?
No wonder Finland has become the education tourism center of the world where educators come to see how things can be improved in other countries.
After seeing the movie: Waiting for Superman, a documentary about the state of education in the U.S., I wonder to what extent putting an emphasis on trust rather than competition, and relaxed schools free from politicians could improve the U.S. educational system.
What are your thoughts on this matter?