Finland’s New Education System: Reform to Enhance Way of Learning

Do you feel you can’t apply algebra in real life or benzene doesn’t concern you? Most of us do. The question of “why we need the study of these things” has always been a riddle for our minds. The requirement of statement “The chemical formula of water is hydrogen dioxide” isn’t going to bother us if we are interested in doing a business. It’s not that these pieces of information and the study system are not relevant, but it needs to be organised. Students read and learn stuff, but they don’t know where it is to be applied. This dilemma leads them to a blank where the absence of application of a subject has no use.

Following this Finland education system came up with an exceptional, innovative idea. Finland has always been famous for its creative approach toward education. The solution of this conventional iterative learning problem is their latest experiment. Taking up a very different approach, the country has struck out subject wise learning experiences. To understand this better let’s consider an example. You have studied the history of India, but you don’t know how it’s useful. So changing the method, instead of telling you how dates have managed to amend the flow of time, you’ll be taught about Mughal Empire, in that you’ll learn, languages, culture, the geography of lands and history too. Another example, “Shop Handling” you’ll be taught about basic cost math, statistics, communication skills, languages.

Finland has always proved it worth in study citations. Only far eastern countries such as Singapore and China are above this Nordic nation in influential Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings. So the step of  “teaching by topic” instead of  “teaching by subject” is about to embark one of the most radical education reform programmes. Pasi Silander, the city’s development manager, explained “What we need now is a different kind of education to prepare people for working life. Young people use quite an advanced computer. In past, the banks had lots of clerks totting up figure, but now that has totally changed. We, therefore, have to make changes in education that are necessary for industry and modern society.”

It is a necessity for Finnish schools to apply the “phenomenon based teaching” at least once a year. With the appliance of the new reform, it has to last for two to three weeks.  As per Mr Silander,” We have really changed the mind-set. It is quite difficult to get teachers start and take the first step, but teachers who have taken the new approach say they can’t go back”. About 70 per cent of the city’s high school teachers have now been trained in adopting the new approach.

Finland has always presented an image of idealism in fields of education and this time, again they have something to offer. If the experiment worked, it would be a significant change for “lineage of books” across the world. This new reform can improve the conventional methods of learning and bring back the ages of “learning the practical”. Whatever the result may be, the step has sure reduced the distance between the academic knowledge and its impact on the real world.

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Shubham Awasthi