Finnish LessonsWhy Finland?Why Now? Economic Opportunity Institute’s Excellence in K-12 Education – November 13 Pasi Sahlberg public lecture – November 14 International Network
Comparison of Finnish and Global ‘Ed’ Reform Policy
Finland: A Non-CompetitiveEducation for a CompetitiveEconomy
Cornerstones of Finnish EducationPolicyLong-term & consistentA vision of a knowledge-based societyResponsibility and decision-making at local levelCulture of trust no national exams no inspectors no public ranking of schoolsEquality and equity in education
Equality and Equity in FinnishEducation compulsory from the age of 7 to 16 supportive measures free, no tuition fees free lunches free books and other materials free school health care free transportation to school
Basic EducationBasic education is provided free ofcharge comprising all learningmaterials and a warm lunch daily.The school year stretches to 190working days, starting in mid Augustand ending in early June.The maximum duration of a schoolday is five lessons during the first twoyears and up to seven lessons from3rd to 9th year (19 – 30 lessons perweek).
Upper Secondary EducationHalf of the age group chooses the Upper SecondarySchool; the other half continues to vocational studies.The National Matriculation Examination consists of examsin the mother tongue, the second national language(FIN/SWE), foreign languages, mathematics, humanitiesand sciences.Four of the exams have to be passed for the matriculationcertificate, which provides eligibility for universities andhigher vocational education.
Poverty Rates Before/After Gov’t Transfers Figure 2.2 - Child Poverty Rates, Before and After Governmental Transfers Child Poverty Rate After Taxes and Transfers Child Poverty Rate Based on Market Income 25 22.6 20 18.4Poverty Rate 15 10 5 0 Denmark Norway Sweden Belgium Finland Czech Republic Switzerland France Netherlands OECD Average Germany Australia Canada Japan New Zealand Portugal Ireland UK Italy U.S. Source: Bell, Bernstein, & Greenberg (2008), p. 85.
100 200 300 400 500 600 0 U.S. (<10%) 0-10% Korea Finland U.S. (10-24.9%) Canada 10-25% New Zealand Japan Australia Netherlands Belgium Norway U.S. (25-49.9%) 25-50% Estonia Switzerland Poland Iceland U.S. (Average) Average Sweden Germany Ireland France DenmarkUnited Kingdom Hungary Portugal Italy Slovenia Greece Spain Czech RepublicSlovak Republic Israel Luxembourg U.S. (50-74.9%) PISA Results by School Poverty Levels, US 50-75% Austria Turkey Chile U.S. (over 75%) 75%+ Mexico
“We have learned somuch about childdevelopment and thescience of teaching andlearning from Americaneducation researchers.”~ Pasi SahlbergChild-CenteredEarly Education
Early Childhood Education and Care System (ECEC-system) Morning and afternoon activities for schoolchildren Daycare arranged by municipality Private Purchased Pre-school for Parents care for children/ daycare Municipal 6-year-olds arrange daycare services Private child Child home care allowance SUPERVISED PLAY care allowance Municipal ACTIVITIES Municipalsupplements supplements PARENTS CHOOSE Basic education starts at age 7
StaffingAdult- child ratio in day care centers: 1 to 7 for 3-6 year-olds 1 to 4 for children under 3 years At least secondary level degree 1 in 3 post secondary level degreeAdult- child ratio in family day care 1 to 4 Appropriate training
Staff for 500 Grade 1-6 StudentsPrincipals: 1 head and 1 deputy headDirectorate group (principals + 4 teachers)4 teams: every teacher is member of one team. Meetings every Thursday 8-9Student welfare team50 teachers15 other personnel
CurriculumSports and natural sciences are emphasized in thelower stage curriculumElective subjects for the 8th and 9th grade (6 electivelessons weekly in sports, art, homeeconomics, crafts, German/Frenchlanguage, music, ict )Elective lessons 1st, 2nd, 5th and 7th grades inart, sports, music, etcThree periods/ year in upper grade
Special Assistance for Learning DifficultiesClinic-type teacherExtra funds to prevent the marginalization, about80,000€/year2-assistant teachers for grades 1-62 teacher for special needs students3 special education teachers1 school psychologist, 1 curator (3 days/week), 1health nurse (5 days per week)
Finnish Teacher EducationThere are five teaching categories in Finland: Preschool teachers, majoring in educational sciences Class teachers, majoring in educational sciences Subject teachers, majoring in various school subjects Special education teachers, separate degree requirements Vocational education teachers, separate degree requirementsEntry to teaching is competitive, only 10-15% of theapplicants are accepted on national level.
New Finnish Lesson:Gender EqualityFinnish women were the first in the world to beable to vote and be elected to Parliament. Publiccommittees, boards, and councils require setquotas: at least 40% of each gender!
Comparison of Finnish and Global ‘Ed’Reform Policy
You cannot translate every Finnish Lesson forimproving America’s public educational system. Butyou can, like the world’s great cuisines, adapt fromothers and meld it with your own recipes.