Its not a new news that our education system requires certain reforms. As we know, our education system i focused on “WHAT TO LEARN” instead of “HOW TO LEARN”. Reforms are required to make this better and to step out of evaluation through exam factories.
Lets talk about Finland. Yes! Finland is the country which always remains in the top 10 rankings by Pisa in terms of education. Its already at its best stage. Its present day outline of its peculiar way of education and its profits pays off a big deal.
First, education governance is highly decentralized, giving Finland’s 320 municipalities significant amount of freedom to arrange schooling according to the local circumstances. Central government issues legislation, tops up local funding of schools, and provides a guiding framework for what schools should teach and how.
Second, Finland’s National Curriculum Framework(NCF) is a loose common standard that steers curriculum planning at the level of the municipalities and their schools. It leaves educators freedom to find the best ways to offer good teaching and learning to all children. Therefore, practices vary from school to school and are often customized to local needs and situations.
But according to the reports, schools and institutions in Finland are going adapt to PBL- PHENOMENON BASED LEARNING.
Lets look into what exactly PBL is.
Phenomenon Based learning
This is a big change in education in Finland.
The concept of “phenomenon-based” teaching – a move away from “subjects” and towards inter-disciplinary topics – will have a central place in the new NCF. This new reform will bring more changes to Finnish middle-school subject teachers who have traditionally worked more on their own subjects than together with their peers in school.
Not exactly eradicating basic subjects
It is not exactly true that Finland is getting rid of all the school subjects. They are now focusing on learning by choosing TOPICS instead of SUBJECT. This way is to prepare the students to learn for working life.
But with the new basic school reform all children will also learn via periods looking at broader topics, such as the European Union, community and climate change, or 100 years of Finland’s independence, which would bring in multi-disciplinary modules on languages, geography, sciences and economics.
It involves learning from the environment and increasing in depth knowledge of how things work. For example, a student can choose a vocational course of “cafeteria services” which involves elements of math, language to serve foreign customers, writing and communication skills.
Why this reform is required?
This reform is made so as to cope up with the 21st century. As there is a decline in the habits of reading and learning through books. our technology is advanced enough now and students tend to find and learn through INTERNET. So, the already better education system was fit for the 90s education. Now this reform is required so as to cope up with the coming technology.
In what ways will it benefit the students and teachers?
It will benefit the student teacher relationship. As it is based on communicating and giving and representing ideas, teaching and learning will become more fun this way. This way the teachers can also learn more about the developing mind and abilities of their students.
It will be hard for teachers who are of older age due to not being able to cope up with the technology. But the teachers in Finland are already undergoing through the special course.
Is Finland taking a risk?
The heading that says that Finland is completely eradicating the basic school subject is not completely true. Finland is taking it slow. They know that we cannot play with the education of our “Future generations”. So, they are gradually implementing this PBL concept and noting on the results. As it is being applied at the age of 16 of students, we can say the risk is lowered.
The general idea is that the students ought to choose for themselves which topic or phenomenon they want to study, bearing in mind their ambitions for the future and their capabilities.
People’s views on this reform
Of course, there are lots of scandalous arguments on this topic, but it has been given thumbs up by most of the students and parents saying “there is no loss in this type of reform, and its more fun this way”. Some of the already graduated students also said that they are envious of the present reforms because its more fun now.
The Finnish teachers are still under preparatory courses. This change is expected to be implemented by the year 2020.