America sucks at a lot of things.
so important, why isn’t the UK like this too
Now. Finland’s school system is very very very good but, some of this information is not correct. And I find it scary that this has so many notes without anyone pointing them out so here I go:
1. There is homework in Finland. I don’t know who came up with this “fact”, because it is simply not true. We do get homework in grades 1-9, in high school and even at University. The only place we don’t get homework is probably pre-school, but I’m not totally sure about this as I skipped pre-school completely.
2. The ratio of teacher to student is not 1:12.
"Pupil-teacher ratio, primary in Finland was 14.03 as of 2010. Its highest value over the past 39 years was 22.25 in 1971, while its lowest value was 13.65 in 2009." Source: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics.
In secondary school it is a bit lower, but I think that is due to super small schools in small cities. I am from Espoo (a big city next to the capital, Helsinki) and I have never sat in a class room with less than 25 pupils (and one teacher). And that is pretty much the minimum size in big city schools. I’ve sat in a math class with one teacher and 43 students. The only class room I’ve seen that supports the 1:12 ratio is in special education classes (yes, I will talk about this next).
3. There are separate classrooms for accelerated learning as well as separate classrooms (and even schools) for special education. The part “1 in 3 gets some sort of special help in school” sounds very bizarre to me. What counts as special help? We do have extra “assistant teachers” in some classrooms, if there are students with for example ADHD or ADD or some sort of learning disability. However, this is not the norm. I have never had an assistant teacher in my class, and I’ve been in the Finnish school system for 17 years now (grades 1 to 9, 3 years of high school, and 4 years of University - and I’m not even done yet!). I don’t know what was counted as special help, but I cannot imagine the number of students who have received it being is as high as 1:3.
4. The homework thing again…. I have spent countless hours doing homework even before I was “a teen”. We do get homework, and not doing your homework affects your grades. And, the teachers do check if you have done your homework or not, especially in grades 1 to 9. In high school it mostly depends on the teacher whether or not they check who did the assigned homework. In some subjects, such as math, you might get points in an exam for doing your homework: if you would normally get an 8/10 from an exam, it might be raised to 8+/8,5/9-, if you did all your homework.
5. We do standardized tests usually at grades 7, 8, and 9. They don’t affect our grades, but we still have to take part in them.
6. Teachers have to have a master’s degree, correct. But not only the top 10% are accepted to teaching programs at Universities. Let’s look at the University of Helsinki, for example. In 2012, 1783 applied for a place in the teaching program that “produces” teachers for grades 1 to 6. Only 1215 of these took part in the written entrance exam, which is open for all applicants. From these 358 were invited to aptitude tests (now, I’m not 100% sure if this is the correct term as English is not my 1st language, but the test includes interviews group work, etc). Finally, 120 were accepted to the program. They did not have to be in the top 10% in their class ar high school. “All”they had to do was to succeed in the entrance exams and they would be accepted. The importance of high school A-levels in regards to applying to University is constantly debated, but for now, in most subjects the entrance exams are more important than graduating at the top of your class.
Don’t get me wrong. The Finnish school system is awesome. School is free and we don’t have to buy our own books until we are in high school. Our Universities are free too, and all course books must be found at the student library (free of charge, of course). We get student benefits, and we have free health and dental care. We have free lunch, free school psychiatrists, we can get free contraception (condoms and birth control pills for 3 months) through out school nurse, etc, etc, etc. Send me an ask and I’ll tell you more.
Sorry for my rant, but I just hate it when inaccurate information is spreading in the land of Tumblr.