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Thread: Should we adopt the Finnish education system?

  1. #1
    Politics.ie Member Fides's Avatar
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    Default Should we adopt the Finnish education system?

    There is another thread going on having a go at fee paying education. It's the usual bunch of arguments. One person though did mention the Finnish system was totally free so I decided to take a look. You see while I did go to a fee paying school and sent my children to a fee paying school the dominant reason was for a better education. Now if you can get that better education without paying for it then I would have no problem using it. (Pretty much the same with health)

    Here's a nice simple description of the Finnish models (with pictures for those from the free sector!!! - just kidding really)

    Finland's Education System Best In World - Business Insider

    Some interesting points

    Don't go to school until 7
    No streaming
    One exam at 16
    Science classes capped at 16 students
    43% go to vocational schools
    Teachers only spend 4 hours a day in classroom
    All teachers must have a Masters degree
    Teachers come from the top 10% of graduates

    I suppose the next question is:
    How has the Finnish system improved their society compared to other countries?

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    Politics.ie Member Prester Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fides View Post
    There is another thread going on having a go at fee paying education. It's the usual bunch of arguments. One person though did mention the Finnish system was totally free so I decided to take a look. You see while I did go to a fee paying school and sent my children to a fee paying school the dominant reason was for a better education. Now if you can get that better education without paying for it then I would have no problem using it. (Pretty much the same with health)

    Here's a nice simple description of the Finnish models (with pictures for those from the free sector!!! - just kidding really)

    Finland's Education System Best In World - Business Insider

    Some interesting points

    Don't go to school until 7
    No streaming
    One exam at 16
    Science classes capped at 16 students
    43% go to vocational schools
    Teachers only spend 4 hours a day in classroom
    All teachers must have a Masters degree
    Teachers come from the top 10% of graduates

    I suppose the next question is:
    How has the Finnish system improved their society compared to other countries?
    The question is; if the Finnish system is demonstrably better then ours, not more expensive and relatively easy to implement (compared to the laboratory type experimentation Quinn is currently engaged in), why have we not already switched to the Finnish system?

    Would anyone here have an issue with any of the parts that comprise the Finnish system and if so why?

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    Politics.ie Member rockofcashel's Avatar
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    Well firstly they do go to school before 7.. it's just their pre school goes up to 7 instead of 4 1/2 like here. Which I think is a good idea by the way. (I worked in Sweden, and they are similar to Finland.. when I told a Swedish girl I went to school at 4 she said that was tantamount to child abuse in her opinion)

    The 43% going to vocational school is a good idea, but don't think this relates to what we consider primary school. Again, if it's like Sweden, they finish primary school at 16 or so, then go to what she called "gym" (dunno why it was called gym).. here they go into a system like "post leaving cert" here.. they decide do they want to go into trades, admin, nursing etc... and receive vocational training related to those disciplines.. it's only after that do the really top students, then go on to University
    1,197 people agree with me.. how many agree with you ?

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    Politics.ie Member Prester Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prester Jim View Post
    The question is; if the Finnish system is demonstrably better then ours, not more expensive and relatively easy to implement (compared to the laboratory type experimentation Quinn is currently engaged in), why have we not already switched to the Finnish system?

    Would anyone here have an issue with any of the parts that comprise the Finnish system and if so why?
    Teachers already come from the top 10% of graduates (for the PGDE) and many teachers already have masters or above so we are already part of the way there.

    Yes by the way, we should implement it ASAP.
    Fully!

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    Politics.ie Member Fides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prester Jim View Post
    The question is; if the Finnish system is demonstrably better then ours, not more expensive and relatively easy to implement (compared to the laboratory type experimentation Quinn is currently engaged in), why have we not already switched to the Finnish system?

    Would anyone here have an issue with any of the parts that comprise the Finnish system and if so why?
    It does seem hard to argue with and yet no one is copying it.

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    Politics.ie Member Lempo's Avatar
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    Gym is gymnasium, lycaeum in Swedish.

    And of course there are tests, several per subject per year, but really not the big standardized ones.

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    Politics.ie Member Fides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lempo View Post
    Gym is gymnasium, lycaeum in Swedish.

    And of course there are tests, several per subject per year, but really not the big standardized ones.
    Would you have personal experience of the Finnish system?
    Sometimes articles can be pretty one sided. Any downsides versus our system?

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    Education improvement is not that difficult, with a few small changes:
    No time spent on religion in teacher training college
    Religion taught only before 9 or after 3
    Irish to be taught by native speakers as a foreign language to 5 year olds
    A foreign language to be taught from children shed 10
    Greater time and resources on science
    Remove all subsidies by the state to fee paying schools and charge VAT on the fee (to fund greater number who transfer from fee paying to non-fee paying)
    At least 2% of teachers to be replaced each year on the ground of incompetence
    Children taught critical thinking, basic economics and political affairs.

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    Politics.ie Member Prester Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fides View Post
    It does seem hard to argue with and yet no one is copying it.
    That is what I don't understand about politics, when something as much of a no-brainer as this isn't carbon copied into every system that is not performing properly (not that I don't think our system has many good points and does work well).
    What are the barriers to this system?
    What is different about us that means it wouldn't work here?
    I don't know how highly education was valued before the current system was installed in Finland or how much parents took responsibility for their kids working etc... was there a difference?

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    Politics.ie Member Prester Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Con Gallagher View Post
    Education improvement is not that difficult, with a few small changes:
    No time spent on religion in teacher training college
    Religion taught only before 9 or after 3
    Irish to be taught by native speakers as a foreign language to 5 year olds
    A foreign language to be taught from children shed 10
    Greater time and resources on science
    Remove all subsidies by the state to fee paying schools and charge VAT on the fee (to fund greater number who transfer from fee paying to non-fee paying)
    At least 2% of teachers to be replaced each year on the ground of incompetence
    Children taught critical thinking, basic economics and political affairs.
    Why this number?
    Why every year? This sounds like a Trotskyite nightmare.
    The Finnish system doesn't work like that, at all.

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