Finnish education

<p>BBC</a> NEWS | Education | Finland tops global school table</p>

<p>What do people here know about the education system in Finland? I'm especially wondering how they could outscore nations like South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Hong Kong... places which have stereotypes regarding education we've all heard before. If these students are so competitive in education, how do they consistently get beaten by Finnish students?</p>

<p>From what I've read, it seems Finland has a very different mentality-more laid back, students given more freedom, less pressure to do well, etc-about educating students compared to places like South Korea, et al.</p>

<p>I browsed through some of the sample math questions from the PISA study, and if the version that American students received was based on the metric system, this would have probably hampered our performance.</p>

<p>I'm from Finland myself and Hampster is right. The education system is more laid-back and the relationships with teachers are more like friends rather than us treating them like someone "higher". We don't have sir's or miss's and students actually feel comfortable talking to their teachers about basically anything, whether it's about their personal or school life. This is one of the reasons that at least I, myself, feel less pressured to do perfect at school. I'd guess this also helps the teachers in their teaching process.</p>

<p>I can't personally say what is the key factor that makes the Finnish school system better, but I've known this for a while that Finland scores highest in the PISA test... But that's only about 15 year olds, how about our universities and colleges (which actually matter in your life)?</p>

<p>The other nations which you cite have a style of learning that is more closely associated with rote memorization than with flexibility in thought. Consequently, it doesn't inculcate a deeper knowledge of concepts as does the Finnish system.</p>

<p>It should be noted that Finland has a much, much lower population density than the other nations cited, so there really is not as much competition for good jobs as in India, China, or South Korea. In addition, the overall disparity in wealth is smaller in Finland than in those countries, so the highest-paid positions are not that much more attractive than less-competitive ones, and that, in turn, diminishes the competition further. The lack of competition and cultural and ethnic homogeneity also allow Finnish students to be more easily made into tight-knit groups. (Mea culpa for the Wikipedia links, but these maps might be enlightening. The first depicts population density by area; the second describes economic inequality, small numbers indicating small disparity.)</p>

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