I’m going to Finland on this August to study there as an exchange student.
Actually, it has been merely 4 months since I came back to Korea from the U.K but this will be the last chance to study abroad
with the support from my school. Moreover, this will be the best opportunity eve to enlarge my level of English with respect to topics
used in business environment. As exchange student program is proceeded by school, it has required the students selected to do a lot of things like searching information about each country we are going to and comparing it to Korea etc.
So, this is what I found and presented already. I did it about education system in Finland. Because Finland is well known for the greatest country in terms of their standard of education system which is very distinctive, I suppose, which is the nearest with the ideal one.
1. Background of it
I thought Finland was originally developed country like other countries were in Europe such as Sweden and Norway etc. But it wasn’t. In Finland, there were not as much raw materials as in near countries. And also Finland is located right next to Russia so the overall temperature is a lot lower than Korea. It means it doesn’t have appropriate environment to harvest enough crops that fulfill the amount of the whole demand. So they should be dependent on importing them from other countries. Apart from forestry, other industries haven’t been developed. Furthermore, there haven’t been any big companies that bring profits to Finland like Samsung in Korea. Given these facts, the government of Finland had to decide where they put in a great deal of effort and it was educating people. Because they believed a human is the most valuable resource that could contribute to develop their country.
2. Difference that Finland education has from other countries
They raised the qualification of teachers because they believed how well students grow is totally up to teachers. According to this perspective on teachers that Finland has, they guarantee the authority of each school and teacher. Authority is power. Teacher can choose books and every curriculum in each term with the consideration of the level of students and situations. Of course there are overall guide lines indicated by central government but teachers in Finland don’t have to be obsessed with them unlike Korea. So, these two things are treated as the main reasons that had a huge impact on the result of putting Finland on the first grade in PISA, program for international student assessment.
3. General course of it
This is a table showing schools in Finland in order. General course that students will take is almost same as Korea. But the obvious difference between these two countries is the range of courses supported by the government. Finland offers the all nations equal and free opportunity to study by graduate schools. Comparing this to Korean’s one in more detail, there is no middle schools in Finland because they have united elementary schools and middle schools. So, as you see this table, it takes 9 years for students to graduate from this basic school. For these 9 years, all the expenses such as meals, books and even cost of transportation are covered by the government. After that, 60% of the students go on to a general school where teachers teach students subjects such as languages and mathematics and the rest of them go on to a vocational high school where students are able to learn technology and something like that. It is common that vocational high schools collaborate with many companies on a lot of projects they are getting through. What I found it impressive is most Finnish students don’t go straight on to a university after graduating from their high schools. Before they do, they do as much experience as they can, trying to find out what they really want to become or which kind of works are suitable for them. Lastly it is possible for students who graduate from high school enter a vocational high school again and this course is also covered by the government.
(* please check a pile attached) Educational stystem
4. Their ways to educate
First one is that a teacher in each class more focuses on each student, which means they admit that every student has their own quality and teacher should play an important role to make them realize what they are good at.
Secondly, their report cards don’t include ranks because they don’t compete with others but themselves. What teachers evaluate is how much each student develops comparing to the previous result and this helps students to be motivated and inspired to study in an effective way.
Lastly, there are special classes in all schools. It doesn’t only refer to classes for disabled students but also students who have a problem with keeping up with a curriculum. For example, suppose that there was a boy who has a gift for mathematics but he might not be good at languages. These sorts of students occupy 20% of the all. Teachers focus on helping them to get back to general classes as soon as possible by providing them with additional education.
5. Teachers in Finland
A teacher is one of the most preferable jobs in Finland. Reputation of teachers is almost same as doctors so it will be easy for you to understand how preferable job a teacher is in Finland. Obviously, there are as many students who want to become a teacher as in Korea. But, I think the aim to become a teacher in Korea is a bit more based on leading a stable life.
Anyway, as I said earlier, students who want to become a teacher are required to get at least a master degree. The other processes are almost similar with us. Firstly they have to go on to a general high school and take an exam to be allowed to enter a university. This exam is classified into three steps. In the first step, they have to write an essay after reading three books indicated by a university for each subjects. It takes normally 6 hours and the number of subject is 5. After they enter a university which has a department of education, they can pick one of these following subjects. In the end, they can become a teacher based on a subject they choose.
This is the end of my post. I thinks it is not enough to get you to know about universities there. To be honest with you guys, I’m going to experience it directly in 2 months and then, I will upload the post about it in more detail. Thanks.