Should we adopt the Finnish education system?



Amnesiac

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As regards "coasting to retirement" that can go with the territory in a career that lasts forty years.
What do you mean? These teachers had either lost interest or never had it. They set assignments that gave them the least amount to correct, were the last in the door, and the first out.
 

pedagogus

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What do you mean? These teachers had either lost interest or never had it. They set assignments that gave them the least amount to correct, were the last in the door, and the first out.
'I'm in my fortieth year of teaching and will finish up inJune. I still enjoy it. However I continue to enjoy life-long physical and mental health. I have seen friends who were excellent teachers burn out after twenty or thirty years or fall into gradual ill-health, often stress related. This is the reality.
 

Mossy Heneberry

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In itself, it doesn't. Sometimes, though, you have to put so much effort into bringing up weaker pupils that the brighter pupils are relatively neglected. This is a dilemma in all classes, including in private schools, unless streaming is the norm. Where you stand on that subject can depend on how bright your children are. It is an old chestnut without a one size fits all solution. Some days I'm delighted with my efforts in a mixed-ability L.C. class, other days frustrated on behalf of the potential high achievers.
In my secondary school they had a system where you had to do an entrance exam. The Secondary school teachers also got a report on the students performance while in primary school and these two things determined whether you got into a high or low class. To me this was an excellent system so 'slow' students wouldn't hold back the 'quick' students and the slow students got extra tuition over a longer period of time.
 

pedagogus

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In my secondary school they had a system where you had to do an entrance exam. The Secondary school teachers also got a report on the students performance while in primary school and these two things determined whether you got into a high or low class. To me this was an excellent system so 'slow' students wouldn't hold back the 'quick' students and the slow students got extra tuition over a longer period of time.
,
From your reply, I guess you may not be aware that the D.E.S. frowns upon any form of streaming. When I had a subject inspection a few years ago I got a lecture because we had implemented a mild form of streaming in maths and English only.
 

Fides

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'I'm in my fortieth year of teaching and will finish up inJune. I still enjoy it. However I continue to enjoy life-long physical and mental health. I have seen friends who were excellent teachers burn out after twenty or thirty years or fall into gradual ill-health, often stress related. This is the reality.
And the pertinent question to the OP is would the Finnish system result in less stress which in itself would improve outcomes. Or perhaps teaching is one of those careers which has a limited life span
 

Mossy Heneberry

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,
From your reply, I guess you may not be aware that the D.E.S. frowns upon any form of streaming. When I had a subject inspection a few years ago I got a lecture because we had implemented a mild form of streaming in maths and English only.
Pedagogus, could a school or teacher still go with streaming and ignore the D.E.S?
 

Lempo

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The system may not get the best out of the potentially top pupils. There is an equality of outcomes but bringing up the poorer performing pupils may be at the expense of the top 1%. As someone has pointed out while the Finnish economy is a strong one it doesn't produce the Apple's or Google's or Samsung's.
Well... it did produce one Nokia, though, and it had a good and technically it's not dead yet. And with Nokia having faded in the background, some of the R&D dough might find it's way to new and coming ideas which the dominance on Nokia has held in the sidelines. Meanwhile Rovio with their stupid birds will keep the name in headlines... ;)
 

Prester Jim

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I suppose in Finland that would be 100%.
Also looking at Lempo's comments and also those I've read on the web there is serious demand to get into teaching. Do the top 10% of all graduates go into teaching here?
I was told by the Lecturers running the PGDE (UCD) that they get so many applications that they can choose from the top 10% of graduates, I argued these with someone before as to what this means; I assume that the top 10% is a fairly large number so this easily shoudl cover other professions like Law, Dentistry and medicine that also get the top end of graduates (if they enter from a post graduate position as opposed from post LC, no stats on that).
This above was 2007-2008, pre , pre the bulk of the anti-PS/anti-teacher media campaign and while it still looked like a relatively viable profession, I wouldn't be surprised if this has changed.
 

pedagogus

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Pedagogus, could a school or teacher still go with streaming and ignore the D.E.S?
Schools vary. Some completely ignore these suggestions, as they are suggestions rather than commands. We haven't reached the stage where the D.ÈS controls everything.
 

Sister Mercedes

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,
From your reply, I guess you may not be aware that the D.E.S. frowns upon any form of streaming. When I had a subject inspection a few years ago I got a lecture because we had implemented a mild form of streaming in maths and English only.
Why has streaming being done away with? I would have thought that our educational outcomes (numeracy & literacy compared with international metrics) were better back when we had it.

We had streaming when I went to secondary school. I thought generally it worked well, except that the weakest kids tended to get the weakest teachers, which tended to trap them in the lower streams.
 

SayItAintSo

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,
From your reply, I guess you may not be aware that the D.E.S. frowns upon any form of streaming. When I had a subject inspection a few years ago I got a lecture because we had implemented a mild form of streaming in maths and English only.
Is differentiation not encouraged now in primary schools. Not the same as streaming in secondary , I know, but the principle being to challenge more able students?
 

Amnesiac

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,
From your reply, I guess you may not be aware that the D.E.S. frowns upon any form of streaming. When I had a subject inspection a few years ago I got a lecture because we had implemented a mild form of streaming in maths and English only.
Why does the department frown on streaming? Does it work in your experience? Is there a consensus among teachers?

Do the Finns stream? I thought I had better address the OP at some stage :)
 

tipp revolution

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Yes Yes Yes to finnish ed - no discrimination and top quality teachers

also essential knowledge re philosophy of education - one of the most popular talks on Ted.com Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity | Video on TED.com

and the Khan Academy which I first heard about here thanks to the kind poster and am preaching the gospel since.

To my mind, the child's education is up to the parents
 

Prester Jim

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There is streaming in some subjects in my school, the kids are in unstreamed, general classes and are then split (sometimes but not always) for some subjects.
Whether they are split or not is down to the given dept.
The inspectors do frown on streaming but don't seem to have an issue with this, go figure.
As for whether streaming is good for the kids or not; the thinking is that low achievers will aim higher if they are surrounded by peers achieving higher, high achievers are not damaged by the low achievers and the middle also benefit.
Streamed classes supposedly don't disadvantage the high end but the weaker kids do end up aiming lower and achieving less.
 

petaljam

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Why does the department frown on streaming? Does it work in your experience? Is there a consensus among teachers?

Do the Finns stream? I thought I had better address the OP at some stage :)
My understanding (limited but keen to learn more) is that one of the major things about the Finnish system is that they don't stream. Or rather they dont select - pupils have extra help for certain subjects, but I think they remain in the same group. Not quite sure how that works, this is what I remember from a few years ago, when they first started saying that Finland was doing so well.

Also that they don't inspect teachers (can that be right?) or at least not in the sense of punishing poor teachers. I think there is a lot of time spent on continued teacher-development, in-service training courses I assume. I wonder how they evaluate that though.

It made me smile to see posters on here apparently agreeing that the Finnish system would be great, just "tweaked" here and there to have selection of brighter pupils and firing of poor teachers!

What about the Northern Ireland results though - apparently the latest results from these international tests (forget the names) are now saying that NI has moved right up along with Finland. It would be interesting to see what has changed to allow that to happen. The end of grammar school selection, perhaps, but since these are primary school results, I think, it can't be only that, or else indirectly.
 

riker1969

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You cant simply transfer one system onto another. Major Cultural factors. You can borrow ideas here and there but not the entire system. Ireland is a much more uneven society than Finland for a start. Only idiots and god knows there are plenty on this thread ,would think you can just deal with education problems in the school.
For those genuinely interested-watch this. For the rest of you back to the pub talk..

Testing education: Pisa envy | The Economist
 

Fides

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OECD Education Rankings – 2012 Update « Signs of Our Times

They are called the PISA rankings. The 2009 results ranks us at
Reading 22
Science 20
Maths 32

We're below average in Maths and above average (just) in the other 2. I see we're behind the UK in Maths and Science which surprises me.

While Finland are near the top in all three Sweden don't do much better than us and are worse than us in Science. Best place to be is China but I suspect they don't follow the Finnish model.
 

Roll_On

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In the finish system, less people go to college, I.e. a less educated work force. Also if children go to school later, i.e 7, that means more parents can't work because they're minding children. Also introducing children to other children at an early age is always positive in terms of social skill development
 


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