Finland will be the first country in the world to scrap all school subjects and introduce ‘phenomenon teaching’
The education system of Finland has been considered as one of the best in the world. In international ratings, its ranking has always remained at the top ten. Breaking the norms, Finland has again decided to carry through a real revolution in their education system. The authorities have decided to remove school subjects from the curriculum.
Finnish officials have decided that there will be no longer any classes in physics, math, literature, history, or geography. Students will study events and phenomena in an interdisciplinary format instead of individual subjects.
There are schools that are teaching in the old-fashioned way which was of benefit in the beginning of the 1900’s, but the needs are not the same, and we need something fit for the 21st century, said Marjo Kyllonen, the head of the Department of Education in Helsinki.
The new education system is at par the requirements of a modern society and industry. The ‘phenomenon teaching’ or teaching by topic will be like – say, a teenager studying a vocational course might take cafeteria service lessons, which would include elements of maths, languages (to help serve foreign customers), writing skills and communication skills.
The students have to choose which topic or phenomenon they want to study, bearing in mind their ambitions for the future and their capabilities. In this way, no student will have to pass through an entire course in physics or chemistry.
There are other changes too; students will no longer be seen sitting in front of their teacher, listening to lessons or waiting to be questioned. Instead, there will be a more collaborative approach, with pupils working in smaller groups to solve problems while improving their communication skills. A data analysis says that students’ outcomes have improved in the last two years, after the new teaching method was introduced.
This reform will require a great deal of cooperation between teachers of different subjects. About 70 % of the city’s high school teachers have now been trained in adopting the new approach. The changes are expected to be complete by 2020.
We would like to make Finland the leading country in terms of playful solutions to children’s learning, said Olavi Mentanen, director of the PLC project.