In a nutshell
It’s a well-known fact that children around the world enter school with craving to learn. So far in their lives they have had a lot of fun questioning, investigating and discovering their surroundings. They also have built their own personal ways of learning. For some reason these ways don’t always fit into the structures for how learning takes place in schools. The active learner becomes a passive student. The new curriculum tackles this fundamental problem.
In Finland the era of the teacher as the sole holder of knowledge and determiner of right and wrong is over. So is the era of a passive student who obediently waits for the teacher to tell him/her what to do and how to do it. The new curriculum stresses the active role of students in planning and designing their learning process. With the help of their teachers, students are held accountable for their own learning.
I spent the Fall of 2015 in Virginia on a Fulbright scholarship and after that I have had a pleasure of training various international groups in Finland and elsewhere. Through these experiences I have gained some insights into the other school system. As I see it, the goals for future education seem to be common in most of the school systems around the world. With the new curriculum Finland has taken concrete nationwide steps to realize these goals. So if you study the curriculum as an educator I suggest you start by analyzing the following elements:
- The balance between skills and content.
- The reforms on assessment practices
- The cross-curricular Phenomenon-Based Learning
There is a good chance you will be inspired!
By Petteri Elo, Principal Consultant