What I Learned from the Finns, Part 2 of 3
During the official launch of our school design project in Asia, Aleksi Lahti, one of Finland’s teachers of the year, shared insights into their exceptional education system and their challenges in evolving their curriculum to include phenomenon-based learning:
“We don’t believe in standardized templates for evaluation or assessment.”
“We don’t believe in control or top-down instructions. We don’t even have a school inspector system. Teachers have a lot of autonomy, so it’s up to them to implement traning.”
“We are not doing just phenomenon-based learning. We still also have traditional pedagogical models. The goal is to broaden a teacher’s methods so that they can make the best choice depending on the circumstances.”
“We would like to abandon the unnatural constraints of the classroom” so that students can adopt the natural approaches of social learning. (In other words, physical space design has a huge impact on learning.)
“We need to prove to parents that we are not experimenting on their children.”
“The biggest challenge for our teachers is not being ‘the expert’ when students are engaged in phenomenon-based learning.”
These insights should encourage school leaders with a vision to transform learning.
They also remind us that change is never easy. Then again, nothing that matters ever is.
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