Teaching by topic Vs teaching by subject
The education system sitting pretty on top of the world league has again hit headlines with a drastic change to its system. Subject specific lessons are already being phased out for 16-year olds, instead teaching consists of topics which include elements of maths, languages, writing & communication skills. The redesign of the system comes as officials recognise the ‘new wave’ of job roles require an alteration to the system. The education system that many of us in the West celebrate is to prepare students for ‘traditional’ job roles. As we see an economical shift into the digital age, employers demand quick-thinking, logical workers who have a preference for applied knowledge. This shift has also seen the rise of cross-subject topics, which sees an increased demand for diverse, well-rounded teachers.
The crème of the crop
In Finland, teaching jobs are hard to come by - you need to be passionate, linguistically talented as well as highly educated. Only 11% of teaching applicants are accepted, meaning competition is fierce. Curriculum structure embraces flexibility and teachers have the ability to decide how they teach without challenge.
Start them old!
In the Western world, it is generally assumed children begin their educational journey at the age of 4. In Finland, children start school at the age of 7. The Finish believe that motivation is lost earlier as children are not biologically ready for commitment.
It’s a myth that students in Finland have less exams and assignments. The truth is teachers don’t teach for the sole purpose of passing exams. Instead students are taught to think logically, research and dive deeper into the subject. Independent learning combined with highly motivating and diverse techniques are used to avoid ‘textbook’ learning and ‘exam machines’.
We are constantly bombarded with messages that our students are stressed and drowning in homework. The education system here believes that students should learn in school, not in their spare time, so they tend to give them little or no homework at all.
Food is fuel
We know that healthy and nutritional meals make for better learners. In Finland, school meals are free (paid through taxation), so no one is left without a meal.
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