26 Facts about Finland's Education System:
- Finnish children don't start school until they are 7.
- Compared with other systems, they rarely take exams or do homework until they are well into their teens.
- The children are not measured at all for the first six years of their education.
- There is only one mandatory standardized test in Finland, taken when children are 16.
- All children, clever or not, are taught in the same classrooms.
- Finland spends around 30 percent less per student than the United States.
- 30 percent of children receive extra help during their first nine years of school.
- 66 percent of students go to college.
- The difference between weakest and strongest students is the smallest in the World.
- Science classes are capped at 16 students so that they may perform practical experiments every class.
- 93 percent of Finns graduate from high school.
- 43 percent of Finnish high-school students go to vocational schools.
- Elementary school students get 75 minutes of recess a day in Finnish versus an average of 27 minutes in the US.
- Teachers only spend 4 hours a day in the classroom, and take 2 hours a week for "professional development".
- Finland has the same amount of teachers as New York City, but far fewer students.
- The school system is 100% state funded.
- All teachers in Finland must have a masters degree, which is fully subsidized.
- The national curriculum is only broad guidelines.
- Teachers are selected from the top 10% of graduates.
- In 2010, 6,600 applicants vied for 660 primary school training slots
- The average starting salary for a Finnish teacher was $29,000 in 2008
- However, high school teachers with 15 years of experience make 102 percent of what other college graduates make.
- There is no merit pay for teachers
- Teachers are effectively given the same status as doctors and lawyers
- In an international standardized measurement in 2001, Finnish children came top or very close to the top for science, reading and mathematics.
- And despite the differences between Finland and the US, it easily beats countries with a similar demographic
Perhaps the greatest lesson to be learned by all nations is that individual achievement is important; but, creating a system that is truly equitable for all families in all regions regardless of socio-economic status raises EVERYONE'S academic achievement levels (and still allows for individual success as well).I wonder what it would take to see that kind of system here in Canada?