Finland’s much vaunted school system is Helsinking, reports the Economist. PISA scores are falling, especially for boys and the children of immigrants.
Furthermore, surveys should Finnish students are “glum” and more prone than other Europeans to say their classroom environment is bad for learning, reports the Economist. “About half of 14- and 15-year-olds feel that their teachers do not care about their lives.”
Starting in August, a new national curriculum is meant to restore the “joy and meaningfulness of learning.”
In addition to more art, music, teachers will assign more multi-disciplinary team projects, such as a module on Earth’s origins “combining the Big Bang with religious lessons and Finnish poetry.”
Critics say this will worsen the rising inequality “by reducing the time poorer pupils spend on core subjects.”
Both defenders and opponents of the new curriculum think children are less motivated, reports the Economist. “Ten years ago education was highly valued among all Finns,” says Ilppo Kivivuori, deputy head teacher at Hiidenkivi school in Helsinki. “Now that is less clear.”