By: Krystle Crossman
Finland is taking a bold step in teaching children how to be successful in their lives after they leave school. They are taking on a new program that will do away with teaching every child the same subject and instead will teach them the topics that are of interest to them. As they get older and lean towards a career path or college major they will have classes that are based on that. This will give them a head start on their major and can also help them to figure out if that is really the path they want to take in life before they get to college or a career.
Not only are the subjects that they are studying changing but the way that they go about learning in the classroom is changing as well. Gone are the days when there are rows of students staring at a teacher in the front of the room. The classrooms will be much more interactive and the students will be working in groups to accomplish goals and to help each other. This is not only an important skill to use for a better understanding of what they are learning in school but it is a great skill to have for their life after school. As we enter careers we need to be able to work with our co-workers to come up with a goal and a solution to achieve that goal. If children learn early on how to work with other people, even if they don’t like them, they will be able to collaborate with colleagues as adults.
The United Kingdom put a call out for a better educational system some time ago and that is what this program stemmed from. They believe that children should be learning the topics and skills that they will need when they are on their own. The UK called the current education system an “exam factory” because the only thing that so many students are taught is what is going to be on the next required test. This is not a skill that will serve them well later in life and Finland is trying to prevent their students from having this type of education. They believe that focusing on the skills that the students will be using in the future will help them today and later in life.