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.