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Thread: Why Do Finland's Schools Get the Best Results?

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    Why Do Finland's Schools Get the Best Results?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programme...ca/8601207.stm

    Finland's schools score consistently at the top of world rankings, yet the pupils have the fewest number of class hours in the developed world.

    Last year more than 100 foreign delegations and governments visited Helsinki, hoping to learn the secret of their schools' success.

    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.

    Finland's Education Minister, Henna Virkkunen is proud of her country's record but her next goal is to target the brightest pupils.

    ''The Finnish system supports very much those pupils who have learning difficulties but we have to pay more attention also to those pupils who are very talented. Now we have started a pilot project about how to support those pupils who are very gifted in certain areas.''

    Late learners

    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 14. 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.

    Less is more


    Finnish parents obviously claim some credit for the impressive school results. 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.

    Finland also has low levels of immigration. So when pupils start school the majority have Finnish as their native language, eliminating an obstacle that other societies often face.

    The system's success is built on the idea of less can be more. There is an emphasis on relaxed schools, free from political prescriptions. This combination, they believe, means that no child is left behind.

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    Industrious mentality. Homogenous classes. Certainly not the school system itself though, I can't see how a "one-size-shoe-fits-all" school system without a decisive leaving-exam can make the race by design. As has been hinted, at low levels of immigration it's bound to perform better, it's the variables (the make up and attitude of the student body) that are so fundamentally different, not the constants (the system).
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    I can't see how a "one-size-shoe-fits-all" school system without a decisive leaving-exam can make the race by design.
    Not sure if I understood correctly, but I don't think it is meant to make the race but helps to maintain the qualities it already possessed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronan View Post
    Not sure if I understood correctly, but I don't think it is meant to make the race but helps to maintain the qualities it already possessed.
    Nope, you misunderstood. I meant making the race in terms of reaching the top-graded spot in those school-system comparisons, but now that you mention it, I notice the double entendre of the word race in certain contexts, in what must surely be the first time I've noticed.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Why do Finland's schools get the best results
    Do they? How many great intellectuals and scientists does Finland produce? I'm actually curious.

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    A high average is of little interest if it still means mass mediocrity.
    A future school system should use the technology available and ditch outdated teaching patterns. A compulsory elementary school term where children learn to read, write, basic calculus and eventually how to use modern technology to acquire more knowledge if desired should be the way to go.
    What is much more of a hindrance to academical greatness is the idiotic thought of "intellectual property" which is so prevalent today.
    It might seem the Scandinavian countries have, while still idiotic in principle, the least sucking attitude towards it.
    "Nothing is more disgusting than the majority: because it consists of a few powerful predecessors, of rogues who adapt themselves, of weak who assimilate themselves, and the masses who imitate without knowing at all what they want." (Johann Wolfgang Goethe)

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    Finland has been added to my list of homogeneous societies for me to escape to. Yes, I know their language is Uralic-origin, and it would be difficult for me to learn, but, if it comes down to it, I'll be moving to Finland

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    Finland is the lightest pigmented nation on earth. Light eyes are statistically correlated with a variety of mental/social traits. In a real sense, they are whiter than white.

    If you have known any Finns, you know that they are just different, like the Japanese of Europe. (this is a compliment). Via a different genetic mechanism, they display the same introversion and conscientiousness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huntsman View Post
    Via a different genetic mechanism, they display the same introversion and conscientiousness.
    Interestingly enough they also share a (for a European) stronger Mongoloid appearance, maybe there is some relation?
    "Nothing is more disgusting than the majority: because it consists of a few powerful predecessors, of rogues who adapt themselves, of weak who assimilate themselves, and the masses who imitate without knowing at all what they want." (Johann Wolfgang Goethe)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jäger View Post
    Interestingly enough they also share a (for a European) stronger Mongoloid appearance, maybe there is some relation?
    Mmh, a part of them maybe gives a slightly more mongoloid or pseudo-mongoloid look.
    But if i look at eastern russians or surounding areas with europoid+mongoloid mixed populations - they do not posses these characteristics like introversion and conscientiousness at all.


    And on second thought - about the comparison with japan - i think it is the truth that they both appear to be more introverted but - i always get the impression that japanese people try to suppress their feelings whereas i think of the finns as very emotional, yet melancholic people.

    But this are just some thoughts i have - i could very well be wrong.

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