• Due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software, some users were "banned" when they tried to change their passwords at the end of February. This does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you were affected by this, please contact us.

Should we adopt the Finnish education system?

alloverbartheshouting

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2010
Messages
7,682
Nice idea, but I think our kids would find it bloody hard to learn Finnish, although it couldn't be much worse than Irish.

:) ....I'll get my coat
A Finnish tuiseal ginideach? :shock2:

This poster would be one less PS worker for yis all to worry about - pinshin or no pinshin....
 


Shpake

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Messages
5,282
trying to get my head around this difficult if not explosive topic.
It seems to me that education is very much an aspirational subject. Back in my day it was all religion... whether you were Catholic, protestant or jewish. But they weren't just hung up on religion then. It was sex: so you had catholic boys catholic girls, protestestant boys and protestant girls schools. The jewish school I knew was co-ed.
OK. times have changed and now the aspiration factor is either about fairness/ equal opportunity or it's about giving your kid the best chance in life you can give him... or you could call it all about freedom/ freedom of choice or whatever.

Well this is one way of looking at it.
I conjure up the picture of the ideal state. Run of course by the dear leader (you).
Now let's taken it as a given that there are both private schools and public schools that have been 'inherited' in the system. So there is no need to go building new schools.. (within this model, you understand). So the only bone of contention, point of issue is the running costs: Teachers and admin salaries, caretaking, heating lighting electricity and maybe a sinking fund to renew the building in later years.

Now the state funds the state schools, fees are deducted from taxes. The private schools are financed by the pupils parents and maybe endowments from the old boys club etc., but mostly by the parents.
So at first glance it appears that the parents who send their kids to the fee-paying school are paying twice: Firstly part of their taxes goes to fund the state school. Then the pay fees for the private school out of their after tax disposable income. (question: is this fee tax-deductible?)
It turns out though that paying these fees to get into the private school is an extremely viable proposition and investment as these schools churn out leaving certers with all the points needed to get in to the uni where they can get subsidized third level undergrad and maybe up to masters level, then enter a good job and rewarding career. So long term it pays off handsomely.

The questions I have now are:
1) should we have private universities and state run universities... well we already do: Griffith College to name but one. Over in capitalist america the private universities such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford etc. seem to produce all the winners and opinion-makers and leaders in society.

The next question: How far should the state go in supporting state schools:
Should the fees be tax-deductible? By how much should the state subsidize the private school's running costs? Hint: If the parents pay 100% for their kids education (plus they are taxed for the state schools they do not avail of) then who can restrict their freedom to choose.

Then they might choose for other reasons. Maybe the local state school has a drug problem. or it's too far away... lots of reasons.

Be interested to know your opinions on this.

Incidentally, you may have noticed that the metric I have been using was not religion, leaving cert points or right to choose... I was simply looking at the overall financial side and what you get out of it... so very capitalistic. ---One way of looking at a very deep topic.

By the bye, you could apply this just as easily to the health system. If you have universal heatlh care which is supported by the taxpayer. And nonetheless some people are prepared to pay for private heatlh care out of post taxed disposable income. Should the govt subsidize this in any way... such as by making the insurance contributions tax deductible?
Just interested in your feedback
Shpake
 
Last edited:

riker1969

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
1,813
Perhaps a crucial missing factor regarding any potential for the application of the apparently successful Finnish educational model in Irish schooling would be the notion of parental input and assumption of responsibility. In Ireland we seem to think that the school teacher ought to take absolute responsibility for all of our childrens educational achievements or failures, whereas here in Finland it's expected that parents will actively participate in their childrens progress.

Progress being the key word. The Finnish model doesn't keep the student under constant pressure to pass quarterly examinations based mainly on nothing more than their memory capacity. Progress is noted over much longer periods - years rather than months - causing far less stress on the student. Nor are the students separated at an early age by apparent intelligence or aptitude.

In Ireland, we take our kids to school, we leave them at the door, and we then seem to think it's someone else's responsibilty. If the child continually struggles and fails, we blame the teacher and school. If the child succeeds and achieves good grades, we pat ourselves on the back and assume on our fantastically intelligent type gene.

Add to this the notion of vocation and dedication as factors in training for Finnish teaching, as opposed to the Irish teaching view, which appears to be one of a civil service job for life, and some serious holes begin to appear. Finnish school teachers are highly regarded as respectable professionals, they carry a great responsibilty and are duly accorded as such. In Ireland our views on our teachers, lay or christian, are rather more dim.

There are other contributary social factors too, not least of all a very strong sense of social cohesion and personal responsibility, one which possibly stems from the resulting sense of personal discipline many acquire after their obligatory year of national service training - or conscription, as we Irish might call it - at seventeen/eighteen years of age. Barbaric as it may seem to Irish people, the positive results of every young mans service year in training is apparent in their respectful attitude towards their society.

Being at present in a position of choice, I absolutely wouldn't for moment consider bringing any future child of my own back to Ireland for their schooling and upbringing.

The occasional visit perhaps, but permanently and for an Irish education? No.
Excellent post. A tour de force. We of course are increasing paperwork for schools and sending Maths inspectors into English classes and vice a versa with the new incidental inspections..
 

Shpake

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Messages
5,282
Worth thinking about.
some college dropouts and people who didn't get to school
Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, college dropouts
Richard Branson -- dyslexic, left school at 16
Ray MacSharry got his primary cert... *maybe he should have stayed longer*
Michael Faraday. I'm sure the list is a lot longer.

Now you could also make a list of highly educated people who drove Ireland over the cliff.
Brilliant exam results though.
So there might be parallel conversations going on here. One side talking about a chance of a big piece of the pie and the other talking about being able to do something. Not necessarily the same thing, but it shows exam marks aren't everything
 

Lempo

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
6,240
Worth thinking about.
some college dropouts and people who didn't get to school
Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, college dropouts
Richard Branson -- dyslexic, left school at 16
Ray MacSharry got his primary cert... *maybe he should have stayed longer*
Michael Faraday. I'm sure the list is a lot longer.

Now you could also make a list of highly educated people who drove Ireland over the cliff.
Brilliant exam results though.
So there might be parallel conversations going on here. One side talking about a chance of a big piece of the pie and the other talking about being able to do something. Not necessarily the same thing, but it shows exam marks aren't everything
Absolutely true. You'll do good in school by doing what you're told to do but it doesn't necessarily cut in the real life afterwards.

I'm angry to myself about neglecting to mention Linus Torvalds, the man behind Linux kernel, when someone was asking after Finnish Googles and Apples and Samsungs. Though he did extremely good in school, writing laudatur in all the exams in his abitur and also scoring full points in advanced mathematics one, he should be seen as a man of extreme personal talent rather than a product of Finnish school system.

Of course, he didn't go and capitalise it for a great wonga of money so I'm not sure if it counts.
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top