Explaining the Finnish Miracle – Part Two

15 Mar

Explaining the Finnish Miracle – Part Two

Excellent multidimensional explanation about Finnish system! Please read!

It also contains the broader view of curriculum being the practical and helpful guiding tool for intentional teaching and learning – yet providing flexibility for individual schools and teachers to make learning happen in an individualized way. It is the true work plan. Not something publishers are selling, but a tool created for your school and your students.

Mentioning the corridors etc. as important places for learning made me miss the days I was teaching elementary in Finland, and often sent students to study in small groups to different places (like corridors) within the school building … sometimes we used stairs or dressing rooms as small group spaces. Students completed their assignments and returned to classroom to ask for more…. 🙂  But nobody was worried about them going missing, as they were highly accountable for their own learning.

2 Responses to “Explaining the Finnish Miracle – Part Two”

  1. 3D Eye March 31, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    Thank you, Nina, for this recommendation – very much appreciated.

    To your comments about trusting pupils to go off and work in places outside classrooms I would add that the best schools and the best teachers who have created the right learning cultures also encourage pupils to learn in attractive or useful areas outside the buildings where they can be in sunshine & fresh air for at least part of the year.

    Do pupils who are trusted to learn on their own sometimes chat to one another & go ‘off subject’? Of course they do! Don’t we all do this when we’re at work? But not for very long if we’re truly interested in what we’re doing, Or if we have a deadline for completion of a task. Or if we’re working as part of a team with work partners who help us to re-focus.

    In any case, it’s essential that children talk to one another and collaborate if they’re going to develop language skills and skills of effective communication. They also need to maintain or develop social bonds and powers of empathy, to say nothing of learning to be considerate, to share with others, to take turns, etc. These are key life skills that have to be learned, and can’t just be ‘taught’.

    Do children who are trusted to learn on their own sometimes argue and get into disputes? Of course they do! How else are they to learn how to negotiate, how to resolve conflict peaceably, how to develop restraint and emotional intelligence? They also learn how and when to seek adult intervention and adjudication!

    Obviously teachers need to know which of their children can be trusted to learn without constant direct supervision, but there are no short cuts to children becoming truly independent and truly collaborative learners. They have to do it through regular practice of doing it. And if you put a ‘difficult’ child in with a group of mature children they soon learn that they cannot behave badly just because there is no adult watching over them – because the other children will soon call for help if it is needed.

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