Remember those days when you’d cram for your physics or chemistry exam and think to yourself, “when am I ever going to need to know this stuff?” Unless you were planning to go on and study those subjects further, it was common amongst many of us to think that complicated theories and maths equations just seemed to be a waste of time.
Couldn’t more time be dedicated to the subjects you did want to learn? The subjects you were passionate about, that you didn’t struggle with for hours trying to understand and scrape through with a pass mark?
We all have different brains, and different ways of learning. While the traditional method of education in schools takes us through a breadth of subjects and focuses on each individual subject closely, schools in Finland are about to revolutionise the way these traditional subjects are taught in order to fit the need of today’s world.
How Finland Aim To Change Their Education System
Finland is consistently one of the best countries in the world for education. Continuously striving for the best ways to conduct lessons, improving the structure of the school day, looking after the needs of teachers and optimising the way in which children learn, Finland has come up with a way to banish the traditional curriculum subjects such as physics, maths, history, literature and geography – but not completely.
The head of the Department of Education in Helsinki, Marjo Kyllonen explains that while focusing on main subjects in the traditional way was effective in the early 1900s, the 21st century needs a different approach to looking at issues with an interdisciplinary way.
The 21st Century Interdisciplinary Method
The interdisciplinary method will integrate the important elements of traditional subjects where students will study events and phenomena in more than one way, as well as connecting them with the current issues and topics of today.
For example, the topic of Word War II would be taught from the perspective of history, geography, and maths involving a more analytical connection and creating a more in depth, all-round study of the era. The aim is to allow the students to absorb a whole body of knowledge on a topic and not just gaining one perspective. This will help students use the necessary critical thinking and skills gained from each subject and allow them to place it into context.
Not only that, but the students will have the opportunity to choose which topic they want to focus on depending on future careers, or what they find interesting. For example, one topic presented in the new curriculum is a café scenario spread out throughout the year which involves an in-depth look at languages, economics and communication skills and how to apply them.
Positive Change For Teachers And Students
The Finnish education system is due to implement the changes fully by 2020 for school kids over 16, but it’s not just for the students. The emphasis on opportunities and teaching quality in teachers without stress and pressure has always been a priority for schools in Finland. The new systems aims to maintain this and create a new dynamic within the classrooms.
There will be more emphasis on group work ending the traditional desk layout of the classrooms in order to encourage collective problem-solving and integration between students. It also encourages teachers of different subjects to work together more closely in order to produce the best experience for the children.
While completely reforming their education system, Finland are not afraid to make changes and stick to them. Seventy percent of teachers in Helsinki are already in the process of making the change that will end the struggle for many students who spend too much time learning subjects out of context and ability. More importantly, will other countries be willing to follow?