Finnish culture values childhood independence children get themselves to school by either walking or biking. Upon arrival at school, children remove their shoes to maintain a relaxed atmosphere. Finnish children spend far more time playing outside even in the depth of winter. The children can’t learn If they don’t play. The children must lay’ The Flannels children are provided with seventy-five minutes of recess a day compared to the average of twenty-seven for U. S children. Finnish schools don’t assign homework because it is assumed the task is mastered in the classroom. Children are also mandated to take lots of arts and crafts and learning by doing. This is a far cry from the U. S concentration on testing in reading and math since the enactment of No Child Left Behind in 2002. The focus in Finland Is on the individual child.
If a child Is falling behind, the highly trained staff recognizes and addresses en Issues to meet ten canal ass needs. Nearly t percent AT ten CNN learn In Hanna receive some kind of special help during their first nine years in school. The true focus on education is “equal opportunity for all. ” Finnish educators have a hard time understanding the United States’ fascination with standardized tests. “Americans like all these bars and graphs and colored charts. ” ‘It’s nonsense. We know far more about the children than these tests can tell us. Finland has a culture of collaboration between schools, not competition. All schools perform at the same bevel and there is no status in attending a particular facility. Finland has no private schools and all Fenland’s schools are publicly funded. It is surprising to know that Finland spends about thirty percent less per student to achieve their far superior educational outcomes. The people in the government agencies running the schools from the national officials to the local officials are educators, not business people, military leaders or career politicians.
The United States has muddled along in the middle of the pack for the past decade. Government officials have attempted to introduce competition into public schools. President Beam’s Race to the Top initiative invites states to compete for federal dollars using tests and other methods to measure teachers, a philosophy that goes against everything the Finnish schools stand for. “If you only measure the statistics, you miss the human aspect. ” Fortunately United States Federal policies continue to move away from the rigid certainties of the No Child Left Behind legislation.
The law has set an unrealistic target for one endured percent student proficiency in every school by 2014. I couldn’t agree more with the Finland approach to education. In order for the United States to come close to Fenland’s success a major change would need to occur. A change I believe would take decades to complete. “The Finns have made it clear, that in any country, no matter its size or composition, there is much wisdom to minimizing testing and instead investing in broader curricula, smaller classes, and better training, pay and treatment of teachers. The United States should take heed. ”