What makes Finland special?

For this blog, I chose to research more about why Finland schools are so successful? What makes them so special? I read a blog from an American math teacher who went to Finland for a research assignment. She pointed out many things that make Finland schools so successful. One of the big reasons is that in Finland education less equals more, meaning that having less topics yet adding more depth to each topic. Here in United States it is a different mentality, having more assignments, more homework, more testing and more topics will benefit our students. When on the other side, Finland believes that having less testing and topics, but having in depth learning will benefit students more. Finland schools are number one schools in the world because of this reason. Their culture is built on having less things but high quality things. They try to teach students less but they do it in depth and with high quality. Same with students, when doing small amount of assignment they have more time and quality put in to their work.

Not only do Finnish schools have less assignments and homework, they also have less testing. There is less pressure for teachers to go through the whole curriculum in fast pace, hoping that students have learned everything and are ready for big state’s tests. There is another huge problem with high stake tests, there too much of them in a year and teachers don’t have time to really teacher their students with real life lessons. Not only that, these tests create competition between students. In addition, these tests are not suitable for every student. There are immigrant students that have little or no knowledge of English and they still have to take the test anyway. Some students are not used to take stakes tests in such long and individual way.

Again, this idea “less=more” is visible in the amount of classes and breaks Finnish schools have. Finnish students have only three to four classes a day and in between those classes they have breaks and snack time, about 15-20 minutes for the students to break and digest the material learned during the lesson. Children need be physically active in order to make the blood flow to the brains and give time for the mind to rest. I have noticed that the higher you go up education and enter high school, there is less time for break. The longest break is during lunch and it is 30 minutes. However, there are six classes that each student takes and they are six hours in school. They have some time to refresh their brains, yet 3-5 minutes between classes is not enough.

I had good time researching and reading the blog of a math teacher and her experience being in Finland. Yet, there is a problem still left in our country, the school system needs to be change and hopefully we can get there because I want a bright future for all the students in this country.


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