Finland’s Ideas on Education

By many metrics Finland has shown it stands out as a world leader (…/12-surprising-things-in-which-fi…) That genuine leadership is most especially progressive when it comes to Finn’s unbridled and well-respected success in how they educate their children.
The contrast in educational philosophy – and outcomes – between the USA and Finland is indeed stark. Excellence in education is a universally held value across Finnish society. Finn teachers are respected and adored by citizens, well-paid and they – and everyone – benefits from a child-teacher ratio which averages a remarkable 14:1.
Read how Finland starts out schooling by letting kids be kids and by “play-based literacy instruction.” Also, don’t miss the intelligent discussion among readers which follows in the Comment section. Jim & Megan

“Finnish schools have received substantial media attention for years now—largely because of the consistently strong performance of its 15-year-olds on international tests like the PISA…

“‘[Children] learn so well through play,’ Anni-Kaisa Osei Ntiamoah, one of the preschool’s “kindergarten” teachers, who’s in her seventh year in the classroom, told me. ‘They don’t even realize that they are learning because they’re so interested [in what they’re doing].’

When children play, Osei Ntiamoah continued, they’re developing their language, math, and social-interaction skills. A recent research summary ‘The Power of Play’ supports her findings: ‘In the short and long term, play benefits cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development…When play is fun and child-directed, children are motivated to engage in opportunities to learn,’ the researcher concluded…

“The word ‘joy’ caught me off guard—I’m certainly not used to hearing the word in conversations about education in America, where I received my training and taught for several years. But Holappa, detecting my surprise, reiterated that the country’s early-childhood education program indeed places a heavy emphasis on ‘joy,’ which along with play is explicitly written into the curriculum as a learning concept. ‘There’s an old Finnish saying,’ Holappa said. ‘Those things you learn without joy you will forget easily.'”