Finland Success in Education

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Finland Success in Education

Postby hquek » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:37 am

extracted more important parts (to me) of the report. It all seems very idealistic, I am wondering how much we have, and how much we should emulate - esp the bit on the number of hours in school.

Source - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/w ... 601207.stm

In 2006, Finland's pupils scored the highest average results in science and reading in the whole of the developed world. In the OECD's exams for 15 year-olds, known as PISA, they also came second in maths, beaten only by teenagers in South Korea.

This isn't a one-off: in previous PISA tests Finland also came out top.

The Finnish philosophy with education is that everyone has something to contribute and those who struggle in certain subjects should not be left behind.

A tactic used in virtually every lesson is the provision of an additional teacher who helps those who struggle in a particular subject. But the pupils are all kept in the same classroom, regardless of their ability in that particular subject.

According to the OECD, Finnish children spend the fewest number of hours in the classroom in the developed world.

This reflects another important theme of Finnish education.

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.

Teacher Marjaana Arovaara-Heikkinen believes keeping the same pupils in her classroom for several years also makes her job a lot easier.

''I'm like growing up with my children, I see the problems they have when they are small. And now after five years, I still see and know what has happened in their youth, what are the best things they can do. I tell them I'm like their school mother.''

Children in Finland only start main school at age seven. The idea is that before then they learn best when they're playing and by the time they finally get to school they are keen to start learning.

There is a culture of reading with the kids at home and families have regular contact with their children's teachers.

Teaching is a prestigious career in Finland. Teachers are highly valued and teaching standards are high.

The educational system's success in Finland seems to be part cultural. Pupils study in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

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Postby caroline3sg » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:54 am

I see that the extract centres around:
1) same school for 10 years, in same compound
2) shorter school hours
3) same teacher throughout

I second shorter school hours. But what if we are stuck with inexperienced teacher, then that is full 10 years; though I understand it makes both teacher & students adapt to each other easier.

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Postby hquek » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:59 am

I see some comments in other postings where the teacher goes on frequent leave, where there are many changes in a teacher. It would be marvellous (although there would be a bad side) to having the same teacher grow with the student.

I feel that the point about enhancing the stature of teaching as a career is good (although i honestly don't have an answer as to how this can be done).

Once upon a time, teachers were highly respected and could do no wrong (remember the days when parents would bring cane and ask teacher to do the deed if their kid is naughty?). Now everything teacher do is wrong - cannot shout, cannot discipline; else kena complain.

Is there any surprise that many are highly stressed and therefore a lot of good ones leave the teaching service once their bond is over?

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Postby daisyt » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:05 pm

"I tell them I'm like their school mother.''

Agree with this fully. Quoting from one real life example.

DD's teacher : You all must drink more water and remember to rest more wor.
DD's comment : She is so nice, so motherly. :love:

Me : Drink more water .... go to bed early ....
DD's comment : So naggy!!!! :P

I don't know to be laugh or jealous or .... :D :lol:

Anyway, I do agree that teachers really have a lot of influence on our kids. To improve our education system, we should improve the quality of our teachers. Teachers who really treat themselves as "School Mothers/Fathers". A compassonate and loving heart towards the students.

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Postby hquek » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:07 pm

I had a history teacher in Sec school who will nag and nag us....telling us that if we don't study, we'll end up sweeping roads, flipping burgers and such. She's such an unforgettable teacher - and we remember with fondness. Though I think most of us just took it as karaoke....kekekeke

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Re: Finland Success in Education

Postby kiddo » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:59 pm

hquek wrote:extracted more important parts (to me) of the report. It all seems very idealistic, I am wondering how much we have, and how much we should emulate - esp the bit on the number of hours in school.

The educational system's success in Finland seems to be part cultural. Pupils study in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.


hquek,

Holistic development which is what SG should tends towards
- The Scandinavian belt seem to have a handle on educating people
not churning out AAs.....

There is a lot we should emulate but SG need things fast and now so
that why we hot house kids and drop outs at every level will
have to find their own direction.

Given time and space people will definitely fare better ....can you see
this in our Education system? :? .......i dont think so .... :faint:

So it going to be difficult to emulate the Finns but we each be it parents , teachers or community should play its part in educating the whole child in a positive way.
This equal or become cultural- educating the whole child in his environment . :idea:
Educating a child should not be only left to the teachers.
We need positive teacher , relaxe environment and respecting a child uniqueness in learning in his own space and time ? in tandem with the community

Tall order for SG ... on my 2 cents worth :hi5:

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Postby joconde » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:38 pm

Interesting information....wonder what is their teacher-student ratio. They have 2 teachers in every class ?

I believe their philosophy of 'no one is to be left behind' is the main contributing factor. It eliminates unnecessary stress that exists in a rat-race environment like ours - survival of the fittest. Our education system tend to focus more on identifying the creame of the crop and grooming them.

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Postby skunk » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:43 am

I agree that for most part, Finland is doing the right thing with regards to education, but there are a few points i do not agree with.

1) What's wrong with longer school hours? School is the place where children are trained for adulthood. Training should be as tough as possible, so that children are more than adequately trained for adult life. Adults, even in relaxed countries, typically work 9am to 5pm. School hours should mirror that, so that from a young age, children get used to such a pattern of life. In SG, school hours are generally too short, school holidays are too frequent and too long. Children grow up expecting to have "June and Dec holidays", they get tired the moment they have to study/work beyond 3pm. The precise recipe for grooming a population of lazy people.

Even as a pri sch student, my dad woke me up at 6am every single day, even school holidays and made me do homework. The result is that i grew up expecting life to be such, and i see the benefit. My wife, on the contrary, had a hard time adjusting to adult life, and she suffered a lot. (We were teenaged lovers, so i watched her grow up LOL)

With longer school hours, children have more time to learn and have a wide variety of subjects, such as philosophy and maybe even martial arts. Now, lesson periods are too short, and leads to needless cramming.

2) It's not a good thing to keep children in a familiar environment for too long. Once in a while, teachers, school and fellow classmates should change. This will train the child to learn how to adapt, in an occasionally changing environment. This will foster the child to become more adaptable, not to mention the changes will allow the child to learn more, from different people and environment.

The same environment for too long, can foster bad traits as well. Imagine a teacher with bad traits teaching the child for so long, the child acquires the traits? Or being in the same class with the same bloody class bully/gangsters for 10 years?

The world is always changing, and children must grow up ready for it.

3) People, including children, always do better in a relaxed environment. The environment can be relaxed, but the atmosphere must be formal, not informal. School is serious stuff, and learning is a discipline, not a hobby or for leisure. An informal environment only trivialises the importance of knowledge and education. The workplace and industry is also an informal one, why should children grow up thinking it's all fun and games?

It's possible to be informal, yet relaxed. Sounds strange, but can be done, and is better for children this way. School isn't play, and they must know that from the start. Want to play, go to the playground.

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Postby tamarind » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:29 pm

"Teaching is a prestigious career in Finland. Teachers are highly valued and teaching standards are high. "

I think this sentence is the key.

In Singapore, teachers are not regarded as a prestigious career, because the salary is not attractive compared to other professions. As a result, it is difficult to attract the best people to become teachers. When teachers find a better paid job, they will definitely leave.


I have been a relief teacher before, so I know how tough it is to handle 30 kids. It will be ideal to have an additional teacher in a class. I thought the government can well afford it ? The result is that parents are asked to look for private tutors if a child cannot follow up with the class.

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Postby hquek » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:11 am

tamarind wrote:"Teaching is a prestigious career in Finland. Teachers are highly valued and teaching standards are high. "

I think this sentence is the key.


I raise 2 hands to agree with this. When I hear of pre-school teachers being berated by parents/grandparents and even slapped, I go into a state of shock. Teachers have a hard life as it is already and I think parents should not have to add on to it.

Where kids are taught at a young age to not respect teachers, I kinda feel they will likely have a problem with authority (parents included).

tamarind wrote:I have been a relief teacher before, so I know how tough it is to handle 30 kids. It will be ideal to have an additional teacher in a class. I thought the government can well afford it ? The result is that parents are asked to look for private tutors if a child cannot follow up with the class.


I recall distinctly someone telling me that in 'branded' schools, it is expected that kids are onto enrichment/tuition. I know there are many who are aghast at this, surely we send kids to school to learn, not to have to add on additional tutors.

Anyway, I'm a hypocrite regarding this tuition thing. I foresee myself engaging tutors for my kids in future.

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