Giving Compass' Take:

• Finnish education systems are among the top rated in the world. Maria Muuri shares six principles as to what makes their system effective and successful. 

• Do any of the six principals bear resemblance to personalized learning techniques? 

• Read about the traits you need to become a top-performing teacher.

I’ve worked as an elementary and primary school teacher here in Finland for more than a decade, and spent five years as a vice principal as well. Our education system is widely considered one of the best, if not the best, in the world. Some might assume that this is because we pay our teachers the most, but according to recent figures, Finland is not among the top 10 when it comes to teachers’ salaries.

So, what makes Finnish schools consistently excellent?

  • Transversal Skills: The new core curriculum places an emphasis on transversal competencies within instruction. What are transversal skills? They’re things like learning how to learn, cultural competence, interaction and self-expression.
  • Government Support: To promote its curriculum in schools, the Finnish National Agency of Education is always seeking new tools that support teaching in the best possible way.
  • Multidisciplinary Learning: Each academic year, every school must have at least one clearly defined theme, project or course that combines the content of different subjects and deals with the selected theme from the perspective of several subjects.
  • Differentiation: Students are all individuals, so we can’t teach them all in the same way. Teachers have to differentiate their lessons, which means that there are usually at least five different levels of assignment in the same class at the same time.
  • Diversity in Students’ Assessment: Where American teachers have to deal with punitive high-stakes testing, the new Finnish curriculum emphasizes diversity in assessment methods as well as assessment that guides and promotes learning.
  • An Active Role for Students: The simple idea here is that teachers should talk less and let the student do more. Teachers facilitate teaching, while students set targets, reflect, and solve real-life problems.

Read the full article about Finnish education systems by Maria Muuri at EdSurge.