The Learning Renaissance

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what it is that Finland do that is the biggest difference - Michael Lawrence

Michael Lawrence has become a regular correspondent. His field of expertise is Finnish education and how it can be applied to other contexts, in his case in his native Australia.

A major problem in implementing what might be considered ‘Finnish education methodologies’ is that they are constantly evolving as a result of collaborations between teachers working collegiately to inform improvements in children learning. That in turn requires that teachers, as experts, have the authority and autonomy to develop ideas without the heavy hand of a government quality assurance agency guiding them into counterproductive methods of working.

The Finns are abandoning the content-led curriculum because they realise that in a world of exponential growth in information, there is no secure knowledge that can prepare young people for the future. They have therefore transitioned to project-based learning in which the emphasis is on the development of skills that are transferable beyond the narrow school curriculum. This itself makes the curriculum much more engaging for the pupils and allows them to develop agency towards becoming independent and autonomous learners of the sort that will be of utility to the economy and society.

There are also no private schools in Finland, so everyone is invested in making the single system work for their own and other children.

Taken together this means that looking for and finding individual aspects of the successful Finnish system and seeking to apply them in different cultures and countries is going to be of limited success. Unless you give teachers the autonomy of experts, they will be only self-limited improvements.

Quote is via Michael Lawrence on Twitter.


About educationalist04

I'm convinced we can, as a species, do much better than this if we set our minds to being much more positive and productive towards our fellow humans. The solution is learning - creating independent and autonomous learners who can problem solve, innovate and create a better more equitable and sustainable world. My books, Future Proof Your School and Re-Examining Success together with this blog, explore how better learning outcomes for all can be achieved.

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