Finland is known for its educational prowess and the country has always been at the forefront of revolutionary steps when it comes to education. However, what is it that sets their education system apart? What is it exactly that translates to not only better results, but also a stress-free environment which helps to nurture children into excellent students? Take a look at the following points to understand what they are doing differently.
School Starts at Age Seven
Pre-school starts at age five and the government subsidizes daycare centers and kindergartens to make sure that all Finnish children attend them. The children are encouraged to play and become social beings more than they are expected to sit with a textbook in front of them at an early age. Real school starts at age seven and even that’s not exactly what you might be used to seeing.
Once school does begin, it never gets tiring and stressful. Instead, Finnish schools have more recesses, less homework and most surprisingly, almost no tests! These are things that go against the very foundation of most education systems around the globe, but it works better than most as well. They basically have just one big mandatory test at the end of high school. Of course, there can be a few exams every now and then, but none of them are meant to stress the children, or be as strict as what we are used to.
Emphasis on Learning Languages
Have you ever wondered why young kids should learn English? There are multiple reasons for that which may vary a bit depending on your location, but the common reason that’s applicable everywhere is the fact that English is the single biggest global unifying factor which makes communication among people with different linguistic backgrounds possible. Finnish children are brought up to be at least trilingual, with English being the third language (after Finish and Swedish) that they start learning from roughly age 11. It is a proven fact that people who know more languages are capable of solving problems better at school and in life later on, so the Finnish make sure that their children know enough of them.
Unless there’s something that prevents it, a teacher usually stays for a minimum of five years with each group of students. It helps to build the rapport that translates to trust, better learning and guidance. Also, extra teachers are assigned to weaker students without actually separating and categorizing them as “weak” in front of the whole school. These teachers are known as supplemental teachers who undergo special training to help children who are struggling with school.
Keep in mind that this is not a complete list, but it serves to highlight some of the key aspects of the Finnish education system and why it’s so ideal for children. The belief behind it all is that children need a minimum stress environment to bring out the best in themselves. It’s not only about grades and a career in the making, but more about learning and becoming a well-rounded human being.