Het geheim van het Finse onderwijs.

Leerlingen uit Finland scoren het beste op internationaal vergelijkend PISA-onderzoek. Basisschool De School uit Kessel-Lo ging op zoek naar de geheimen van dit onderwijsparadijs van Europa. Wat kunnen wij leren van het Finse onderwijs?

Dit bericht werd geplaatst in Basisschool de Vierboete Nieuwpoort. Bookmark de permalink .

2 Responses to Het geheim van het Finse onderwijs.

  1. Grote prestatiedruk en klassiek onderwijs in Finland
    In Klasse, tijdschriften, kranten, … lezen we voortdurend dat de Finse 15-jarigen voor PISA sterk scoorden en dat dit mede een gevolg is van het feit dat er in Finland weinig prestatiedruk en competitie bestaat, geen toetsen en punten …. We weten inmiddels dat er in het s.o. wel toetsen en punten gegeven worden – en zelfs in het lager onderwijs.
    Onlangs gaf Pasi Sahlberg, de Finse onderwijspropagandist, echter zelfs toe dat een heel sterke prestatiedruk en onderlinge competitie bestaat bij de leerlingen. De Finse jongeren staan onder grote prestatiedruk om na de lagere cyclus toegelaten te worden tot de algemene aso-richtingen (i.p.v. tso/bso-richtingen) en om later te slagen in de ingangsproeven voor de universiteit. Peter Wilby schreef onlangs dat de goede leerprestaties vermoedelijk veel te maken hebben met het besef van ’later competitive pressures’ dat sterk aanwezig is. De ouders en de leerlingen s.o. beseffen dat er sprake is van een ratrace. We citeren even uit een bijdrage over de hoge prestatiedruk waarin Pasi Sahlberg dat eindelijk ook toegeeft. Sahlberg bekent nu ook dat Finland tot nog toe een heel klassiek en klassikaal onderwijs kende/kent. Dit alles is een bevestiging van wat we de vorige jaren al schreven in Onderwijskrant. Het is precies ook door die eerder klassieke aanpak (en de sterke gezagscultuur) dat Finland veel beter scoort dan Zweden en Noorwegen.
    Finnish education isn’t quite what it seems
    Peter Wilby The Guardian, Monday 1 July 2013 20.0
    Finnish education isn’t quite what it seems. Exams and competitive pressures may have been eradicated from schools, leaving teachers and pupils free for the co-operative pursuit of cultural, creative and moral improvement. But this educational idyll eventually comes to an abrupt end.
    Pupils who stay beyond 16, as more than 90% do, move into separate (allegedly self-selected) streams: “general” and “vocational” upper secondary schools. Though there is some crossover between the two, the vocational school students usually go to polytechnics or directly into jobs.
    Only the general school – catering for what, in effect, is the academic stream – offers the 155-year-old national matriculation exam, a minimum requirement for university entry. … The exam comprises traditional essay-based external tests covering at least four subject areas. To study a particular subject at a particular institution, students must take yet more exams set by the universities themselves.
    As Sahlberg acknowledges, Finland hasn’t abolished competition; it has just moved it to a different part of the system. “It is getting tougher and tougher to reach the end points,” he says. “It is the Finnish compromise.”
    In other words, although Finland unarguably achieves better results for more of its children than almost any other country in the world, success may (and I emphasise “may”) be attributable less to its laid-back school regime than to the children’s expectations of later competitive pressures. Exporting what appear to be educational success stories is a dubious enterprise, because it is so easy to misread how another country’s system works and to discount its cultural background.
    Sahlberg, I think, would agree. He is an odd, diffident sort of ambassador, spreading the message about “the Finnish miracle” but not really believing in the data that supposedly proves that it works. His fear now is that Finland’s educational success is breeding complacency.
    “Ask Finns about how our system will look in 2030, and they will say it will look like it does now. We don’t have many ideas about how to renew our system. We need less formal, class-based teaching, more personalised learning, more focus on developing social and team skills. We are not talking about these things at all.”
    P. Wilby in The Gardian :Grote prestatiedruk in Fins onderwijs & klassieke aanpak http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/jul/01/

  2. Spectaculaire daling van leerprestaties in Finland & debat over (nefaste) gevolgen van comprehensieve, lagere cyclus s.o. in Finland, Zweden … Onze beleidsmakers, Klasse van september 2013, stellen (comprehensief) Finland steeds voor als een onderwijsparadijs inzake hoge leerresultaten en sociale gelijkheid. Volgens Finse onderzoekers van de universiteit van Helsinki was dit de voorbije jaren geenszins het geval. Dit bevestigt wat Onderwijskrant al een aantal jaren beweert -mede op basis van eerdere studies van de universiteit van Helsinki.

    New study: Finnish students’ achievement declined significantly (Onderzoek van universiteit Helsinki).

    Since 1996, educational effectiveness has been understood in Finland to include not only subject specific knowledge and skills but also the more general competences which are not the exclusive domain of any single subject but develop through good teaching along a student’s educational career. Many of these, including the object of the present assessment, learning to learn, have been named in the education policy documents of the European Union as key competences which each member state should provide their citizens as part of general education (EU 2006).

    In spring 2012, the Helsinki University Centre for Educational Assessment implemented a nationally representative assessment of ninth grade students’ learning to learn competence. The assessment was inspired by signs of declining results in the past few years’ assessments. This decline had been observed both in the subject specific assessments of the Finnish National Board of Education, in the OECD PISA 2009 study, and in the learning to learn assessment implemented by the Centre for Educational Assessment in all comprehensive schools in Vantaa in 2010.

    The results of the Vantaa study could be compared against the results of a similar assessment implemented in 2004. As the decline in students’ cognitive competence and in their learning related attitudes was especially strong in the two Vantaa studies, with only 6 years apart, a decision was made to direct the national assessment of spring 2012 to the same schools which had participated in a respective study in 2001.

    The goal of the assessment was to find out whether the decline in results, observed in the Helsinki region, were the same for the whole country. The assessment also offered a possibility to look at the readiness of schools to implement a computer-based assessment, and how this has changed during the 11 years between the two assessments. After all, the 2001 assessment was the first in Finland where large scale student assessment data was collected in schools using the Internet.

    The main focus of the assessment was on students’ competence and their learning-related attitudes at the end of the comprehensive school education, but the assessment also relates to educational equity: to regional, between-school, and between- class differences and to the relation of students’ gender and home background to their competence and attitudes.

    The assessment reached about 7 800 ninth grade students in 82 schools in 65 municipalities. Of the students, 49% were girls and 51% boys. The share of students in Swedish speaking schools was 3.4%. As in 2001, the assessment was implemented in about half of the schools using a printed test booklet and in the other half via the Internet. The results of the 2001 and 2012 assessments were uniformed through IRT modelling to secure the comparability of the results. Hence, the results can be interpreted to represent the full Finnish ninth grade population.

    Girls performed better than boys in all three fields of competence measured in the assessment: reasoning, mathematical thinking, and reading comprehension. The difference was especially noticeable in reading comprehension even if in this task girls’ attainment had declined more than boys’ attainment. Differences between the AVI-districts were small. The impact of students’ home-background was, instead, obvious: the higher the education of the parents, the better the student performed in the assessment tasks. There was no difference in the impact of mother’s education on boys’ and girls’ attainment. The between-school-differences were very small (explaining under 2% of the variance) while the between-class differences were relatively large (9 % – 20 %).

    The change between the year 2001 and year 2012 is significant. The level of students’ attainment has declined considerably. The difference can be compared to a decline of Finnish students’ attainment in PISA reading literacy from the 539 points of PISA 2009 to 490 points, to below the OECD average. The mean level of students’ learning-supporting attitudes still falls above the mean of the scale used in the questions but also that mean has declined from 2001.

    The mean level of attitudes detrimental to learning has risen but the rise is more modest. Girls’ attainment has declined more than boys’ in three of the five tasks. There was no gender difference in the change of students’ attitudes, however. Between-school differences were un-changed but differences between classes and between individual students had grown. The change in attitudes—unlike the change in attainment—was related to students’ home background: The decline in learning-supporting attitudes and the growth in attitudes detrimental to school work were weaker the better educated the mother. Home background was not related to the change in students’ attainment, however. A decline could be discerned both among the best and the weakest students.

    The results of the assessment point to a deeper, on-going cultural change which seems to affect the young generation especially hard. Formal education seems to be losing its former power and the accepting of the societal expectations which the school represents seems to be related more strongly than before to students’ home background. The school has to compete with students’ self-elected pastime activities, the social media, and the boundless world of information and entertainment open to all through the Internet. The school is to a growing number of youngpeople just one, often critically reviewed, developmental environment among many.

    The change is not a surprise, however. A similar decline in student attainment has been registered in the other Nordic countries already earlier. It is time to concede that the signals of change have been discernible already for a while and to open up a national discussion regarding the state and future of the Finnish comprehensive school that rose to international acclaim due to our students’success in the PISA studies.


    University of Helsinki – Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, Department of Teacher of Education Research Report No 347Authors: Jarkko Hautamäki, Sirkku Kupiainen, Jukka Marjanen, Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen and Risto Hotulainen

    Learning to learn at the end of basic education: Results in 2012 and changes from 2001

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