Finland is famous for having one of the best educational systems in the world, always ranking in the top10. This has not made them complacent, however, as they has recently unveiled a plan to majorly shake up their system.
Educational officials have proposed a plan in which ‘school subjects’ as such no longer exist, meaning there will be no one class dedicated to math, geography, history or science, but instead they will learn in terms of different concepts and ideas.
Marjo Kyllonen, Head of the Department of Education in Helsinki explains:
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.
The students will instead study in more of a broad-reaching kind of concept. A proposed example would be the Second World War which would be looked at through the perspective of history, geography, and math, and not just as an event in ‘history’ as it has previously been seen. Another example given is the course ”Working in a Cafe,” in which the students will learn the skills of English language, economics, and communication in an all-encompassing experience.
These options will be available for students above the age of 16, which is the important age at which most teenagers are urged to start seriously considering a career. Instead of choosing a subject, say Physics, and be forced to learn all of the fact without the knowledge of applying them to the real world, the student will be learning alongside the experience of using this knowledge in a real-life event thus making it more applicable.
The teacher-pupil format is to be discarded also, with no rows of desks all listening to the one teacher, instead pupils will be learning in small groups, discussing problems and subjects with the help of the teacher.
Around 70% of teachers in Helsinki have already began preparations for this change, and the school system is relying on the teachers to be co-operative throughout this massive over-haul.
The teachers that are already on board are being given a pay increase as an incentive. The change is expecting to be implemented completely by the year 2020.