The Finnish system and the Dream School


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Key features of the Finnish education system

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  • Grade level teams. Teams deal with projects and other issues that concern all students in the grade.International unit. Responsible for international co-operation and contacts.Communications and networking unit. In charge of IT and PPP, marketing and publicity. Safety and school building unit. Responsible for all safety issues concerning students, staff and buildings.Unit for the support of learning and growth. In charge of pastoral care, central hub that co-ordinates multiprofessional work to ensure student welfare.Pedagogical unit.Center Student management unit (LMS, Wilma,),Participation unit (student council, co-operation),KiVa- team
  • The Finnish system and the Dream School

    1. 1. Practicing the art ofthe possibleThe Finnisheducational systemand EnglisheducationSirkku NikamaaFinnish educatorSeoul Education Training 7759 801 814 , +358 405 298 859
    2. 2. Why am I here?PISA scores 2009Student performance in reading,mathematics and science:1. Shanghai2. Korea3. Finland4. Hongkong5. Singapore
    3. 3. Agenda1. Principles of the Finnish system2. Our approach to teaching English3. Curriculum and methods4. Teacher education, further education5. Dream School concept, main points6. Motivation and Engagement7. Methods and ideas for lessons8. ResoourcesDiscussion
    4. 4. Principles of the Finnish system
    5. 5. “Pisa tourists” in FinlandThousands of visitors from many countrieslooking for good ideas and best practice.They discover: A consensus society Equality, a good education system Modern society, good healthcare etc Angry Birds, engineering, design, architecture, forest industry, NOKIA…
    6. 6. What do our visitors takehome? CAN take away:  Ideas and best practice that will flourish in foreign soil CANNOT take away 1. Finnish culture and political consensus 2. The history of the educational system 3. Relatively homogenous society
    7. 7. Education –Background culture 8
    8. 8. Education is important Consensus, ”no drop-outs”- philosophy Finland cannot stay on top of the information society race without sustained and focused efforts and good education
    9. 9. Education system Optional preparatory class age 6 – 7 9-year comprehensive basic education Work experienceUpper secondary Vocational ed. and vocational examinationsUniversities Schools for applied sciences Higher exams in SASc Education system withoutPhD “dead ends”
    10. 10. System drivers: WE HAVE WE DO NOT HAVEEqual opportunity  Streaming Comprehensiveness  Privatization Respect for teachers as competent  Testing, regulation knowledge workers of teachers Flexible remedial  Standardized, teaching individualized, uniform learning, requirements Encouraging  National tests assessment and evaluation NOT „testing‟
    11. 11. Ownership of learning Cartoon by Wulffmorgenthaler
    12. 12. Continuous development Schools are seen as active learning communities (locus of control and capacity) Improvement through networking and self-regulation Value in sharing ideas and solving problems together Collaboration not competition
    13. 13. Language studies in Finland
    14. 14. Language studies Foreign language study starts in 3rd grade (age 9). Can start in grades 1 – 2. An optional language from 5th or 8th grade on (not available in all municipalities)Compulsory minimum of languages is:1. Mother tongue (from 1st grade)2. First foreign language (from 3rd grade)3. The other national language (Finnish for Swedish speakers, Swedish for Finnish speakers) (at the latest from 7th grade on)
    15. 15. English and the law of gravity Cartoon by Wulffmorgenthaler"It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws ofgravity.” Kofi AnnanEnglish is needed in the globalized world
    16. 16. English is the foreignlanguage of choice English Finnish Swedish Franch German Russian/Other Language choices in Finnish basic education, 2009
    17. 17. A brief history of MFL teaching 1980s syllabi presented Reform in 2016 aims to detailed lists of structures diversify MFL offering in and situations to be schools followed by teachers1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020Prior to 1970s MFL was 1990s communicativeonly available to students competence and oralattending schools language proficiency grewtargeted to academic in importance.professions. More autonomy: teachersMethodology: to find their owngrammar, translation, writ methodology.ten exercises (modeledafter study of classiclanguages)
    18. 18. Curriculum and Methods
    19. 19. Curriculum Ministry of Education and Culturedetermines the general goals and time allocation for subjects National Board of Education develops the National Core Curriculum in consultation with several stakeholders Local Authorities(education providers) form their own local curricula Teachershave a lot of autonomy and ownership over theimplementation. Teachers shape the curriculum in theirclassrooms
    20. 20. CornerstonesLanguage is: a skill subject means of communication a cultural subjectAims:  Life long learning  Linguistic competence  Cultural competence  Strategic competencies in communication and learning strategiesOverall aims of basic education are reflected inEnglish education
    21. 21. English curriculumEmphasizes meaningful learning based on personal experience social interaction learning connected to real life and cultureIt aims at all-round human growth throughinteractive and collaborative learning Learning to set goals, learning how to learn, adjust learning strategies
    22. 22. Language teaching connected to real life Now, do youThreats to life on actually think earth: this isOverpopulation appropriate forClimate change 3rd graders? Diseases Cartoon by Wulffmorgenthaler
    23. 23. A few excerpts from a localcurriculumLanguage skills Cultural skills produce oral  deepen and expand presentations, expr the knowledge ess opinions and about the Anglo- wishes Saxon culture and geography write essays using  compare his own English language culture and country media with other countries and cultures Source: Espoo local English curriculum -- 9th grade
    24. 24. A few excerpts from a localcurriculum (cont.)Study strategies Situations and themes Use ICT in language  sustainable learning Do small projects development independently and in  health and wellbeing groups  media Set goals for himself and to take active  travel measures to achieve  public services those goals  working life and Adjust methods to achieve the goals economyGrammar Source: Espoo local English curriculum -- 9th grade
    25. 25. Language learning has shifted From To Written  Oral Grammar and structure  Proficiency in real life Translation  Communicative use Teacher  Learner autonomy centeredness Linguistic skill  Intercultural communication competence and cultural sensitivity
    26. 26. The shift necessitates a newapproach to learning The core curriculum states a broad frame for teaching and learning and assigns teachers exceptional pedagogical freedom (compared to many other countries) Aim is that learners have life long motivation, skill and confidence in all new language experiences in and outside school
    27. 27. ExamplesIn grades 1 – 2: Games, songs, rhymes with emphasis on listening, understanding and speaking. Content related to home and school.Grade 3 – high school: Communicative teaching mixed with form- focused study of grammar. Increasing learner autonomy, emphasis on oral proficiency, study of culture and ICT supported learning environments (including social media)
    28. 28. English teaching guidelines Authorities do not give templates for language lessons!Guidelines:1. Orientation and motivation2. Internalization (rehearsal) & elaboration3. Application of linguistic content in in- and out-of-school settings
    29. 29. 1. Orientation and motivation  Linguistic content introduction referring to usefulness of functions  vocabulary in real-life situations2. Internalization, rehearsal & elaboration  Listen to a text, watch video  Seek clarification from peers & teacher. Instruction in pronunciation, intonation patterns. Read out loud.  Discuss, answer questions, (pictorial cues) on the text. Students help each other, give feedback to each other.
    30. 30. 3. Application of linguistic content in in- andout-of-school settings  Improvised pair discussions Homework or at school: Use the vocabulary and grammar learned:  writing small- scale dramas  writing stories  recording video clips  present to peers and teacher  projects, games, team work etc Independent use of learning content
    31. 31. Joy of learning Yes, feathers! My horse gallops faster when you tickle him. Was there anything else? Cartoon by Wulffmorgenthaler
    32. 32. Minimal Exercises, focus on Tasks Exercises vs TasksRely on formal  Using language foraccuracy and one- meaningful open-ended communicationto-one responses.  Focus on the function and content rather than form  Provide opportunity to interact, solve- problems, get guidance from teacher or peers  Making mistakes is not stigmatizing but useful!
    33. 33. Assessment Wrong again, stupi d! Shape up!“The ultimateassessment tool” Cartoon by Wulffmorgenthaler
    34. 34. AssessmentAims:  to guide and support the study process  to promote learning and student‟s self- assessment skill, learning how to learnStarting point is curricular objectives  progress in language acquisition  working and learning skills and behavior Formative assessment, self-assessment, peer assessment a priority.
    35. 35. Assessment to support learning1. For formative purposes during the course of education:  Criterion referenced measures  Ongoing feedback  Verbal records, development talks  Numerical2. Assessment at the end of the course, school year, basic education  Numerical assessment based on multiple sources of information and forms of assessment, written and oral performance considered
    36. 36. “What gets tested, getstaught”
    37. 37. Objectives are the core of basic education. Development of key skills. Needs of the individual’s personality and growth and society’s needs. Objectives ImplementationContent is a means to Contentachievethe objectives Implementation defines how objectives are achieved: guidance, support, co- operation, learning environments, methods and assessment
    38. 38. Less is more Less teaching time Less homework Less testing No streaming39
    39. 39. Streaming Streaming was abolished in mid-1980s* Achievement gap began to decrease 7% school variance between schools vs 42 % in other OECD countries (reading scale)*Before that students were placed in one of 3 levels of curriculabased on prior performance, but often based on peer‟s andparent‟s influence.40
    40. 40. Teacher education
    41. 41. Teacher education Class teacher education  Masters degree in pedagogy or pedagogical psychology  Competency for grades 1 - 6 Subject teacher education  Masters degree in main subject with pedagogical studies  Competency for grades 7 – 9, high school, vocational schools etc.Both studies include teaching practice in one of12 “Normal Schools” that are attached touniversities. Focus on didactics.
    42. 42. Further educationMain organizers are: Finnish National Board of Education Local authorities Teacher organizations Publishers Private companies European Council supported networks like ECML (European Center for Modern Languages)(Minimum 3 mandatory days of professional developmentannually, organized by local authority)
    43. 43. In-service and other supportMain partners for collaboration andprofessional support: Teams and colleagues at school Local authority, other schools in the area Informal networks, online communities Federation of Foreign Language Teachers in Finland, SUKOL, with 30 local and 8 national member organizations
    44. 44. Dream School, main points
    45. 45. Dream School – tools for agood life Excellence is not delivered from the top. It is created on the spot City of Kauniainen Dream School is an example of a successful local development project in a de-centralized system It is a modular, open source system and can be easily adopted by other schools
    46. 46. Future skillsWhat skills will the adult of the future need?  Knowledge and skill related abilities  Ability and desire to learn  Creative passion  Enriching interaction  Good self-confidence, self-knowledge
    47. 47. The core processes Basic skills  Reading, writing, mathematics  History, society, culture, life sciences  Language skills  Health  Arts and Manual skills Working skills  Creative problem solving  Communication skills  Self-guidance  Teamwork Development of the learner‟s individual and community- related readiness  Interaction skills  Skills in influencing  Entrepreneurship  Ethic view of life  Self-esteem and self-knowledge
    48. 48. Sharing is caring Innovative, creative learning using a multitude of methods and tools: Wii, phones, tablets, drama, role play, games, film editors, mindmaps, Google tools, Prezi, cartoons, animations, cameras etc. Student work and assignments are given out, presented, shared, stored and developed through our Learning Diary, an e-portfolio tool that:  Facilitates building on prior knowledge, sharing, development and distribution of learning assignments between students and teachers  makes the learning path more visible and encourages the use of a variety of evaluation methodsCollaboration and communication betweenteachers, students, management is important! Goal is tosupport growth and learning.
    49. 49. Shared leadership Pedagogical unit Communications and networking International unit unit Student and Grade-level learning teams management Student participation Unit for safety unit and buildings Unit to support growth and learning
    50. 50. Joy of learningWhat you learn without joy you forget without grief We bring emotion into learning Give recognition, praise and support Encourage and expect responsibility for own learning and behavior Give room for trial and error Use what your students already know and can Develop a positive attitude Create a deep and personal learning process that crosses subject - and learning environment borders
    51. 51. SummarySystem:  Equal opportunities  No streaming  Almost no testingSchools and local authorities:  Develop their own curriculum  Quality is created on the spot, not delivered from the topTeachers:  Trusted and valued professionals, not subjected to external evaluationsStudent:  Ownership of and responsibility for learning  Flexible remedial teaching  Fairly little homeworkSupport of growth and learning. Development of thewhole person, not only the cognitive domain.
    52. 52. Together we can make amazing things happen!
    53. 53. Sources: Finnish Lessons. What can the world learn from educational change in Finland. Pasi Sahlberg, Teachers College press, Columbia University, 2011 Miracle of Education, The Principles and Practices of Teaching and Learning in Finnish Schools. Hannele Niemi, Auli Toom, Arto Kallioniemi (eds). Sense Publishers, 2012 The School of Opportunities – towards every learner‟s potential. Finnish National Board of Education Kielitivoli What‟s the point of school. Rediscovering the heart of education. Guy Claxton, 2008 Cartoons by Wulffmorgenthaler