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Finland's Education System: 10 Surprising Facts That Americans Shouldn't Ignore.

Society & Culture  (tags: education, children, environment, family, society )

- 2105 days ago -
Finland has consistently scored among the highest nations in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a standardized test given every three years by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that measures student . . .

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Lynn S (235)
Monday September 17, 2012, 1:54 am
I believe there is a crisis in education, yet education is the hope for a stable future in most nations.

I look back at the education I had and then compare it to what is happening today. I shudder, and I fear for future generations unless changes are made to the education system, starting with the basics of how we think of and prioritise education.

Since I first heard about the Finnish system over a year ago, I was impressed. What do you think? Here are four more articles that appeared here on Care2 over the past year and half.


Past Member (0)
Monday September 17, 2012, 2:23 am
"There are few, if any, mandatory tests in Finland until a single exam at the end of high school. There’s also little homework. Why you ask? Finnish school principal and former teacher Kari Louhivuori told Smithsonian “It’s nonsense. We know much more about the children than these tests can tell us.” [...] "

hans P (3)
Tuesday September 18, 2012, 2:33 am
Iam Dutch and the finns are doing great .Part of it is bc they are not having so much ppl (same problem here) so they are forced to look outside there country.Learning more languages is a must.Iam always amazed how few americans speek 2 or more languages.Spanish is more spoken but that is bc you have a big population spanish speeking import and they have the problem with inglish.But the average person dont speek more than inglish.I speek and write 3 languages plus can manage to get around in 3 more. (dont ask me to write in more languages is not only good for going around in this world, it gives you a way better understanding in other cultures,It widens your view.And we are in schools not only focussed on direct results.Its way better to end the school with great succes than have good points for tests every few months.We are also more learning about interaction with others.Sex education start at 7 , nude is no problem,Busses drive around with almost nude pics on there side.We dont have that competition between pupils as the US is having.Its NOT good to be the best when others suffer from it.That is something you in the States NEVER understand.You spend way to much on being the best.But at what costs?

hans P (3)
Tuesday September 18, 2012, 2:49 am
Just reading back and some thing got into my mind.
Why do Americans use the word WAR so much? War means automatic 2 or more parties are in a fight.Also the meaning is ONE must win! As Lynn Squance mentioned in a link the school system is in war.With what?Your GOV? With other schools? And money is importand to.Spending money on kids is an investment that pays back 1000 times in the future.America is not seeing or willing to pay for that.Cut money on education wil result in worser teaching and in less good educated humans in 10 to 20 years.Now you safe but you wil need way more later to repair the damage. When you want to conquer the world stop with war and using the word and educate.Get smart.Why is there NO American leading your top best research facility? Its a Dutch Isnt that saying it all?

Ben O (150)
Tuesday September 18, 2012, 3:01 am
We could all learn from Finland...

Azaima A (207)
Tuesday September 18, 2012, 8:06 pm

Marie W (67)
Tuesday September 18, 2012, 11:17 pm
Europe as a whole is smarter.

Rin S (10)
Wednesday September 19, 2012, 4:07 am
Finland seems like a perfect place to go to school.

Sergio Padilla (65)
Sunday September 23, 2012, 5:23 pm
Thanks for sharing

Pia M (88)
Tuesday September 25, 2012, 5:09 am
There's one error in this article:
"By age nine, students begin Swedish (Finland’s second official language), and at 11, they start learning a third language, usually English. Many students even take on a fourth language around age 13. Students are tested on their first two languages in a matriculation exam for university placement."

Not true. By age nine, students begin their first foreign language, so-called A-language. For 90% of students, it's English. Other options are usually offered only at schools of larger cities, most common choices are Swedish, German or French. Also the option of learning a third language (second foreign language) by age 11 is limited to larger cities. By age 13, we have mandatory Swedish (the Swedish-speaking minority have mandatory Finnish) as so-called B-language. Other languages are optional in junior high and high school. And nowadays, only the test of mother tongue is mandatory in matriculation exam - which itself is not an entrance test to universities.

My own example: Finnish as mother tongue, English as A-language at age of nine, mandatory Swedish as B-language at age of 13, a year later French as my first optional language (C-language), continuing the studies at high school, where I chose also German as D-language. All the other languages I have learnt in university. Had I lived in a city instead of a boring small agricultural county, I would have had the opportunity to study at least five foreign languages during my school years, with a much wider variety of options (instead of typical English-Swedish-French-German). IMO, this is the factor that creates most inequality within our school system - I would have loved studying as many languages as possible, but I never had the chance. (If I sound bitter, it's because I am. Fortunately, later I've taken full advantage of all the language studies that university offers...)

Sheryl G (360)
Tuesday September 25, 2012, 3:46 pm
I would say my Country needs to do better in a lot of areas. It needs to stop following what the Corporations want, it needs to stop being the police of the world and causing or getting into more wars, and it needs to provide health care to all it's citizens, it needs to respect it's Elders, and it needs to do something like Finland for it's children. We do not have to reinvent the wheel, there are Countries that do a good job in areas we are not, we learn from them. I hate to say it, but my Country is such a backward savage place to live. Maybe one day the majority of the Americans will understand this and force the true changes we need.
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