Emily Nieman
Mind Map by Emily Nieman, updated more than 1 year ago
Emily Nieman
Created by Emily Nieman about 5 years ago


Mind map on Finland's approach to School Readiness

Resource summary

1 "The national core curriculum for basic education is determined by the Finnish National Board of Education.The core curriculum does not specify subjects but rather ‘subject fields’ and contains the objectives and core contents of different subjects, as well as the principles of pupil assessment, special needs education, pupil welfare and educational guidance. The principles of a good learning environment, working approaches as well as the concept of learning are also addressed in the core curriculum. The national core curriculum is renewed approximately every ten years." (OPH: 2012)
2 Finland don't view 'school readiness' the same way other countries do. According to P Sahlberg it means that "all schools must be ready to receive all children just as they are" (Sahlberg; 2015,p52)
3 "Finland's framework emphasises the development of thinking in relation to language and communication, mathematics, ethics and religion, physical development, arts and culture, and environmental issues." (Sahlberg; 2015, p52)
4 "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." (BBC: 2010)
4.1 From August 2015 Pre-Primary Education was made compulsory for all children
4.2 Formal education is compulsory until age 16
6 "In Finish schools, the operational principle is that the quality of teaching and of the school is defined through the mutual interaction between the school and its students, together with parents" (Sahlberg; 2015, p126)
6.1 In Finland a parents main concern about a school is that it is an ordinary, safe school rather than looking at test results etc. (Sahlberg; 2015, p63)
6.1.1 "Academics isn't all kids need. Kids need so much more. School should be where we teach the meaning of life; where kids learn they are needed; where they can learn community skills. We like to think that school is also important for developing a good self-image, a strong sensitivity to other people's feelings. . . . and understanding it matters to take care of others. We definitely want to incorporate all those things in education." (Daily Riff: 2014) It is not mandatory to give students grades until they are in the 8th grade (equivalent to year 9 in the UK) Finnish culture values childhood independence; one example: children mostly get themselves to school on their own, by walking or bicycling, etc. Helicopter parenting isn't really in their vocabulary. Finnish schools don't assign homework, because it is assumed that mastery is attained in the classroom. Individual schools have curriculum autonomy; individual teachers have classroom autonomy. (autonomy - freedom from external control or influence; independence)
7 it should not matter which school you go to, you will get the same education. (Bee Finland: 2012)
8 OECD 2013 education report
8.1 Mathematics: 12th place mean score 519
8.2 Reading: 6th place mean score 524
8.3 Science: 5th place mean score 545
9 "The objective of basic education is to support pupils’ growth towards humanity and ethically responsible membership of society, and to provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary in life." (OECD.Org: 2000)
9.1 "Care, education and instruction have been combined to form an integrated whole and where play is a central tool of pedagogical (teaching/educational) activities. Children’s day care and other systems supporting care for small children are thus part of early childhood education and care." (OECD.Org: 2000)
9.1.1 In most comprehensive schools there are pre-schools attached to get children used to the school environment . Finland has also tried to integrate pre-school education and Grades 1 and 2 of basic education to create a foundation for compulsory basic education. (Education England: 2003) Methods that develop self-esteem and accustom children to teamwork are considered very important (Education England: 2003) There is no inspection system. Information about education is collected through statistics, feedback from parents and evaluation commissioned by the Board of Education and universities. (Education England: 2003)
9.1.2 "They believed strongly that their role was primarily to prepare their pupils for compulsory schooling.This involved, in particular, the development of their social skills, positive attitudes to school and a disposition to learn.They saw the pre-school class as a distinct break from the more play-based environments from which their pupils had come, but, at the same time, it was not yet a part of compulsory schooling.The recognition that the pre-school year was different from what had preceded it and from what was to follow was evident in the responsibility given to the teachers to create a curriculum which best matched the needs of their pupils." (Education England: 2003) Parents also saw the pre-school class as important preparation for the more formal learning styles that their children would meet in the first grade, but they were not concerned that their children might not encounter letters and numbers until then. If they did do so, this was in the context of play, not formal teaching (Education England: 2003) No baseline assessment/Foundation Stage Profile for transition into formal education (Education England: 2003) Finland focuses on out of school learning, often having "out of school days" on a fortnightly basis with trips to the local library (Education England: 2003) Curriculum is reversed to the UK- Finland focuses on children’s social, physical, interpersonal and moral development, while literacy and numeracy are viewed as essential yet take their place alongside other early learning goals (Education England: 2003) There is no inspection system. Information about education is collected through statistics, feedback from parents and evaluation commissioned by the Board of Education and universities. (Education England: 2003)
9.1.3 Parents priorities is that children should be happy and learn to get on with others (Education England: 2003)
10 Classes are smaller, averaging 22.5 compared to UK's 30. Makes more one on one opportunities and allows the teacher to focus more on children, especially those who are struggling and allows children to engage more in class.
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