The Finnish Paradox
In the global perspective, the Finnish education system seems to be a paradox.
When much of the rest of the world is implementing more oversight of schools to assure teachers meet specific goals, lengthening the school day, toughening academic standards, and increasing homework, Finnish children continue to enjoy a relatively short school day, a broad curriculum, and a light homework load.
In many other countries, formal schooling is replacing informal play in children’s lives earlier than before. Standardized tests are introduced already in early learning programs to make sure children progress to be ready for school. But that hasn’t happened in Finland. The Finns regard play as not just a break from academic work but as a skill like any skill that one hones through experience.
Real-Life Practical Use
The focus is on equipping children with the necessary social skills and academic knowledge so that learning is engaging and meaningful and can be related to real life experiences.
Teachers use student-centred approaches when planning lessons showing awareness of prior learning and assess pupils’ progress formally and informally.
Inter-disciplinary projects feature in the curriculum and allow students to explore a range of questions using a cross-curricular approach.
The fact that we, as an international preschool in have chosen an Inquiry-based curriculum over the traditional Rote Learning strategy speaks volumes about our principles. Our style of teaching gives children the power to question, observe, explore and understand their subject matter. As one of the unique preschools in Singapore, we strive to open up a whole new world of learning for tiny tots and equip them with skills that’ll help them delve into their hobbies.
This healthy and open approach to learning ensures that children don’t shy away from observing, exploring, asking questions and noticing as well as understanding the world around them. The joys of learning are manifold and we try to expose young minds to this phenomenon.How Finland Became The Best?
The Child as the Protagonist
Children are able to work independently as they direct their own learning in collaboration with their peers, rather than rely solely on teachers for directions.
The Teacher as Facilitator
Our teachers plan engaging and meaningful experiences that build on the children’s understanding, and they also provide appropriate resources within the environment to facilitate children’s learning.
Our curriculum is child-centred. Children are viewed as active, self-directed and competent learners, who initiate their own learning, and are actively engaged in hands-on exploratory learning experiences through making independent choices and selecting their own activities.
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Finland delivers on a national public scale highly qualified, highly respected and highly professionalised teachers who conduct personalised one-on-one instruction; manageable class sizes; a rich, developmentally correct curriculum; regular physical activity; little or no low-quality standardised tests and the toxic stress and wasted time and energy that accompanies them; daily assessments by teachers; and a classroom atmosphere of safety, collaboration, warmth and respect for children as cherished individuals.