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Does Finland have the best education in the world?

07/10/2016 Joanna

Education differs across the globe, but in Finland it's considered one of the best in the world. In fact, the entire Nordic region is known for its successful schools and teachers, and it consistently tops global league tables based on the performance of pupils.

So what's the difference in education in Finland?

Well, one of the biggest is that Finland doesn't have the school governance and structure like the UK and US. Instead of a strict educational policy, teachers and pupils themselves have the responsibility to design and direct education.

In addition, education doesn't begin until children reach the age of seven. Daycare centres focus on creative play, encouraging children to develop good social habits and everyday skills.

Tiina Marjoniemi, head of daycare centre Franzenia, said: "We believe children under seven are not ready to start school. They need time to play and be physically active. It’s a time for creativity."

Official guidance in Finland says that pre-school is intended for children to understand the joy of learning and improve their language and communication skills.

"Kindergarten in Finland doesn’t focus on preparing children for school academically. Instead the main goal is to make sure that the children are happy and responsible individuals," Finnish educational expert Pasi Sahlberg stated.

When it then comes to formal teaching from age seven onwards, the educational policy and teaching is heavily research based. In addition, the national curriculum devotes plenty of time to arts and crafts, with core competences including learning to learn, digital skills and entrepreneurship.

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