Friday, April 3, 2015

Finland has it all (Monty Python)

In the previous post I alluded to the news from Finland that they are moving away from subjects. 

The Finns. What is it about the Finns (no relation to Neil and Tim I believe)?

Apparently, according to an article I read about the wonderful education systems in South Korea and Finland (the bold is my addition): 
'Finnish culture values intrinsic motivation and the pursuit of personal interest. It has a relatively short school day rich with school-sponsored extracurriculars, because culturally, Finns believe important learning happens outside of the classroom. A third of the classes that students take in high school are electives, and they can even choose which matriculation exams they are going to take. It’s a low-stress culture, and it values a wide variety of learning experiences.'
Okay now this is interesting too. I guess the third of electives has now gone to two thirds or more with the doing away of subjects.

I know other countries can't replicate a culture but some of this sounds a lot like NZ: the low stress, variety, extra curricular accent is us.

Even the intrinsic motivation part is what I see in the majority of cases in my school (this may not be the case throughout the entire school network I freely admit).

So wot's...uh the deal? I know I'm not conducting any kind of deep scientific analysis here but: why aren't we way up there with the Finns (again - no relation) and the South Koreans?

it could be this:
Finns share one thing with South Koreans: a deep respect for teachers and their academic accomplishments. In Finland, only one in ten applicants to teaching programs is admitted. After a mass closure of 80 percent of teacher colleges in the 1970s, only the best university training programs remained, elevating the status of educators in the country. Teachers in Finland teach 600 hours a year, spending the rest of time in professional development, meeting with colleagues, students and families. In the U.S., teachers are in the classroom 1,100 hours a year, with little time for collaboration, feedback or professional development.

Finland, Finland, Finland (as Monty Python would say), the country where I quite want to be.

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