Our system, which relies heavily on self-guidance, is in urgent need of a critical examination.
- Anni Siltanen, Chemical Industry Federation of Finland
The fact that we have allowed the situation to reach this point is simply inconceivable and unsustainable for Finland’s competitiveness.
- Jarkko Lampiselkä, University of Helsinki
Based on the new report, the trade associations draw four conclusions and propose four solutions to raise Finland’s level of knowledge and skills:
- The relationship between self-guidance and teacher-driven learning should be examined.
The requirement of self-guidance that is built into the Finnish education system can be too demanding for many children. We need to thoroughly examine the principles underlying our education system and the expectations we can have towards the self-guidance skills of children in lower comprehensive school. It seems that the differences between our schools are too large when it comes to the emphasis on self-guidance versus a teacher-driven approach. Excessive self-guidance can be counterproductive for some children, whereas a stronger teacher-driven approach could improve their learning outcomes without negatively affecting the learning of others.
- Science and mathematics clubs should become a part of the Finnish model for leisure activities.
We should create opportunities for children to get excited about mathematics and other LUMA subjects through club activities by making LUMA clubs a part of the Finnish model for leisure activities (project of the Ministry of Education and Culture). Science clubs can introduce a new approach towards LUMA subjects that is more interesting than the one used in basic education. They also give gifted pupils a chance to further enhance their skills.
- We should invest in guidance for diverse learners.
We need new ways to guide diverse learners. Pupils who require special support, boys, pupils with an immigrant background and gifted pupils all need adequate attention. Guidance can help tackle the gender differences in different sectors and help pupils make successful career choices overall.
- We should encourage higher participation in early childhood education and care.
Participation in early childhood education and care (ECEC) has a clear link to the level of knowledge and skills later on in life. However, the participation of Finnish children in ECEC is lower than in the comparison countries. We should continue our efforts to increase participation in ECEC.