Monday, 9 November 2009

The next session was an international case study on 21st Century learning in practice by Timo Lankinen, director general of the Finnish National Board of Education...

As we know, Finland tops the OECD league tables for educational outcomes and Timo Lankinen talked about the possible xplanations for their success, the innovations happening in Finland and the challenges ahead for Finnish schools. He stressed the focus on quality, equity and efficiency in Finnish schools with a strong focus on individual support, high quality Masters educated teachers along side curricular flexibility and pedagogical freedom. He also acknowldege the relative homogeneity of culture, religion and population in Finland.

Timo highlighted eight factors which mark out their education system;
  • flexibility of the system;
  • trust, support and empowerment;
  • valuing the professionalism of teachers;
  • evidence based and consensual appproach to curriculum and school change;
  • broad consensus about the importance of education across society;
  • individual support for students and learners falling behind;
  • collaborative and social-constructivist approach to learning and schooling;
  • high quality learning environments.

Finnish class sizes and school sizes are also small. To sum up Timo talked about high standards, professionalism and a supportive ethos within a learning culture based on trust and respect.


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