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Play, Curiosity, Well-being – The Secrets Behind Finland’s Education System's Success


When it comes to education, Finland has gathered a somewhat legendary reputation. There is undoubtedly a thing or two to borrow from the Finnish experience and Nordic system, succeeding both in academic performance and student happiness.

To get you acquainted with what makes the Finnish school system so great, we are drawing the curtains for you by introducing the basics and bringing you some simple tips. Not everything can be applied to different school environments just so, but here are our picks from one of the world's best educational systems!

🧒  Finnish children start school the year they turn seven. Kindergarten and pre-school have already introduced them to social and emotional skills, so the gradual shift to more complex learning happens smoothly.

🏓  With short school days and minimal homework, the early school years are all about making friends, creating bonds with teachers, and learning how to learn. When school is a fun and safe place to go, students are more open to the new things educators hope to teach them.

⏳ Fewer tests, more time to learn. Without national standardized tests, the Finnish teachers enjoy the freedom to find ways that suit them, their students, and the current situation in class. Moreover, students learn to value learning and the skills they have acquired, not just the scores of the latest exam or GPA.

⚗️ Teachers are carefully listening to their students' interests and ideas, deriving lesson activities close to the everyday life of the students, as well as encouraging the students to teach each other.

🦹  Feed the curiosity! Children are naturally curious and open-minded, and they love experimenting. When learning happens through play, and the students are having fun in the process, they are more likely to truly absorb new information and be able to apply it in real life.

➡️  Make time for an orientation period at the start of the school year. When you and your class spend time together and truly connect, teaching and learning start more quickly. Checking in with your students and recognizing emotional states and overall well-being is good preparation for a new school year.

➡️  Monitor and manage the workload of your students. Discuss with your colleagues to avoid coinciding projects or exams.

As said, it is all a sum of small things! Let this list serve as food for thought 💙

Henriikka Heinonen

Guest Writer
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