OPINION: Why are Finns so much smarter than us?

FINLAND, Finland, Finland, why do we keep hearing so much about Finland when it comes to education?

During a Q&A panel discussion about education funding on Monday night, Finland got a fair mention.

Because my brain works in mysterious ways, I decided to look up why Finland was doing so well when it comes to educating its young folk.

According to an article in The Atlantic: "Finnish children don't begin school until age seven. They have more recess, shorter school hours than many US children and the lightest homework load of any industrialised nation. There are no gifted programs, almost no private schools, and no high-stakes national standardised tests."

Finland has managed to improve its educational standards in the past few decades, with a system that sounds very Gonski-like in its structure.

The Finns provide equitable funding for everyone with a free education up to and including university.

They have small class sizes, everyone is put in the same class, but they support struggling students more than others, because they recognise these individuals need more help to reach their full potential.

In the 2012 Programme for International Assessment, which tests 510,000 students aged around 15 from across 65 countries, Finland was ranked higher than Australia in the three categories tested: maths, science and reading.

Scores were: Australia 19, 16 and 13 for maths, science and reading, while Finland was 12, 5 and 6.

Something to consider.


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