Why Finland’s Schools Are So Successful?

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Faqih Maulidi
Faqih Maulidi, M.Pd.

Oleh: Faqih Maulidi, M.Pd. (maulidifaqih@gmail.com)
SMAN 1 Sukatani English Teacher

Urbantimes.id, Opini – For many years the school system in Finland has been very successful. In the PISA survey, which compares reading, math and science knowledge of 15-year olds around the world, Finland is not only the top European country but also competes with Asian giants like Shanghai, Singapore and South Korea. But what makes the educational system in this small country so strikingly different from others in the western world.

First of all, the Finish government makes it possible for all children to attend preschool, which comes after kindergarten. Compulsory education begins at 7. Teachers work with their pupils in school as much as possible. They have little homework to do when they get home.  When teachers are not with the pupils, they spend a lot of time in schools working on the curriculum and new projects.  They teach in teams if it helps them reach their goals. That is why dropout rates are low compared to other countries.

In contrast to other nations teaching in Finland is a highly admired profession. Finland selects its teachers very carefully.  Only talented students go on to a university and receive a master’s degree in education. Finland only takes the best to educate its youth.

Schools in Finland are small, at least for international standards. More than in any other country teachers are ready to prepare children for life. In some cases, they know every pupil in their school and can adjust to them. Teachers try everything to succeed with their pupils. Most of the pupils get additional help in their elementary school years, either by the teachers themselves or through specially trained educators.

South Korea Switches to Digital Textbooks in the Classroom

South Korea is planning change from paper to digital textbooks in the next few years. All content of South Korea’s school subjects will be available on PC’s, iPads and mobile phones by 2015. The education department has announced that South Korea is preparing for a new digital revolution that will change schools of the future.

The project was started last summer. Classrooms throughout the Asian country will be equipped with wireless LANs so that students can access learning materials whenever and wherever they want. Pupils won’t have to carry heavy schoolbags and satchels any more.

South Korea is a model nation when it comes to using modern technology. The OECD found out that youngsters in South Korea lead the world when it comes to getting information from the internet and working with computers. The country focuses on teaching children the basics of technology at a very early age.

Compared to South Korea, western nations lag behind. American president Barack Obama has announced that United States is installing a national learning centre which is to improve teaching standards and develop new teaching methods.

Shanghai is Number One in World Education Rankings

A   global   educational   study   called PISA (Program for International   Assessment) tests over 500,000 pupils in over 70 countries every three years. The 2010 results showed that pupils in Shanghai are the world’s best in reading mathematics and science. PISA studies 15-year olds and their   abilities in the three fields.  The study did not rank China as a whole but Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macao as   separate   countries.

South Korea, Singapore Taiwan and Japan were other Asian nations that   ranked   well. In many western countries the reading   score   was down. In Europe, Finland still stays in the number one spot although   it is   ranking   third overall. Americans are, at best, average, ranking 17th   in reading, 23rd   in science and 31st   in mathematics.

Why have Asian countries overtaken Europe and America in the tests?  First, they put more   focus   on education.   Children, parents and teachers know that a good education is the   key   to being successful. They are not   tolerant   when pupils   fail. Asians believe that if you do hard and   succeed   in school you will be successful in your job as well.

Starting at a very early age China teaches its children that you can only succeed if you are better than the others. They are tested as soon as they come to school. Only the best can go to college and then get a good job. Examinations are held very often and lists of students’ rankings   are   posted   on the walls of a school. Shanghai students study much harder than western pupils do and they spend less time on   extracurricular   activities   or sport. Teachers are also   respected, paid well and   highly motivated.

Virtual Worlds are Useful for Children

A research report says that virtual worlds can be important places where children practice what they will do in real life. They are also a powerful and attractive alternative to more passive adventures like watching TV. The research was done with children using the BBC’s Adventure Rock virtual world, aimed at those aged 6-12. It surveyed and interviewed children who were the first to test the game.

The online world is a theme island built for the BBC’s children channel by Belgian game maker Larian. Children explore the world alone but they use message boards to share what they find and what they do in the different creative studios they find around the virtual space.

At times children were explorers and at others they were social climbers eager to connect with other players. Some were power users looking for more information about how the virtual space really worked. The children could try all kinds of things without having to be afraid of the consequences that would follow if they tried them in the real world. They learned many useful social skills and played around with their identity in ways that would be much more difficult in real life. According to the study what children liked about virtual worlds was the chance to create content such as music, cartoons and videos.

The publishers of the report say that virtual worlds can be a powerful, engaging and real interactive alternative to more passive media. They urged creators of virtual spaces for children to get young people involved very early on because they really do have good ideas to add and they are very good critical friends.

Why do Students Drop Out of School?

Some American high schools have a dropout rate of up to 50%. There are many reasons for students leaving school, which are for two thirds of the dropouts’ motivation is the problem. They can’t just work hard enough, almost half of them said that they had missed so many classes that they could not catch up any more, many said that they were not prepared well enough in their earlier school and for a third of them getting a job was more important than finishing school.

High school dropouts have more problems in society and in their future lives.  They are more likely to be unemployed or live in poverty. There is also a big difference in income if you compare high school dropouts with graduates. According to data by the US Census bureau Americans with a bachelor’s degree earn about $50,000, those with a high school diploma about $28,000 and dropouts only about $20,000.

Many pupils do not understand the implications of dropping out of school. They often demand better teachers, more lessons to catch up in subjects and more help with learning problems. Some schools have adopted to this situation. They offer evening classes or allow students to come back at a later age.

Benefits of Education from an Online High School

Whether you are an adult who never completed your primary education or the parent of a child in need of special attention and flexibility, getting a diploma from an online high school may be the right choice for you. With this option, you will have a number of benefits. You will be able to take control of your education. You can learn everything you would be taught in a classroom in the comfort of your own home. You can take charge of the decisions that you make and the path that you will take during your education.

An online high school can offer an array of advantages. Mostly, you will have complete control over your education. You will have the ability to study your own assignments at your own pace. You can focus on the assignments that may take you a bit longer to complete, while easily and quickly going through assignments that are easier for you. The flexibility on education on the Internet is unmatched. Most programs allow you attend your virtual class at any time of the day, so you can work around your busy schedule. Many people that take classes on the Internet have busy schedules and often full-time jobs. This form of education will allow you to work on your own terms and on your own time.

Traditional education for many people means more than just learning. When getting your diploma on the Internet, you can avoid the distractions that come along with the traditional classroom. You won’t have to deal with the cliques and other distracting students while you work on your own time. You can study when you want and where you want. Plus, many times a teacher in a traditional classroom just cannot spend extra time during class time helping each individual student with his or her own specific problems. When working within the online high school, if you do not understand a particular topic, you can take your time and pace yourself to gain a better understanding of the subject.

Whether you are an adult with a full-time job, and you want to move up in the world, or you think that your child would benefit from the pacing and attention involved in an online high school, this educational choice may be the one for you. There are a variety of options out there, so do some research and find out which one will work best for your circumstances.


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