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Finland is known across the globe for its quality education and record high rates of literacy and numeracy. Its successful education system stands at the top in PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) along with the Eastern Asia juggernauts such as Singapore & China.

And, keeping in line with its radical education system and reforms, Finland is about to undertake the most remarkable education reform of the modern era. It is about to scrap the more than a century old teaching ‘by subject’ and introduce teaching ‘by topic’. Not only this, they are also adopting a more collaborative method of learning rather than what we call the traditional, passive approach of learning (as also seen in our India classrooms).

Finland have outlined complete plans to change its education methods with Helsinki being the starting place.

For example subjects like Geography and History will be replaced with cross-subject topic such as European Union which would combine aspects of subjects such as Languages, Economics & Geography. Or, a course in “Cafeteria Management” would combine aspects of subjects like Mathematics, Writing & Communication Skills.

Finland Blog

Liisa Pohjolainen, Head of Youth & Adult Education of Helsinki mentioned during revealing the news that this is going to be a big change in education in Finland which is currently just at the beginning stage.

Helsinki’s Development Manager, Pasi Silander, mentioned that there is a need for a different kind of education to prepare people for working life and to make changes in education that are necessary for industry & modern society.

However, there are concerns from educators in Finland about throwing away standing methods – some of whom have spent extremely long careers focussing and teaching only one subject.

To make the transition easy for educators, a co-teaching approach has been advocated where more than one subject specialist is involved in lesson planning. There is also a small increase in salary for teachers who adopt this approach as an added incentive.

Around 70% of Helsinki’s high school teachers have been trained in this approach. According to early reports, the new approach is already benefitting students in Helsinki. There reforms will be implemented across Finland by 2020.

An important point to note is that while other PISA toppers such as China & Singapore follow punishing study regimes, the same in the Nordic country is focused on relaxed learning strategies which will stand in great dead for Finland as its people would be more qualified and happier at the same time – a rare feat.

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An education revolution in Finland: Subjects scrapped & replaced with Topics
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One thought on “An education revolution in Finland: Subjects scrapped & replaced with Topics

  • April 3, 2015 at 1:14 am

    Hi DOE Administrator, please go ahead and kindly credit GyanLab.com

    Thank you


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