1. Let the Children Play
The Finns are in no hurry to send off their children to school. This gives the children sufficient time to use their imagination, learn important life skills and prepare for the long road ahead.
2. High Quality Daycare and Nursery Kindergarten
Daycare is considered critical for developing the cooperation and communication skills necessary to prepare young children for lifelong education. That is the reason why it is highly subsidized.
3. Respect for Each Child’s Individuality
Finnish early childhood education emphasizes on giving each child a chance to develop as a unique person. They guide the children in the development of social and interactive skills and interests to care about others and have positive attitude towards other people, cultures and different environment. Good relationship is built between teachers and student as teachers are likely stick with the same group of students for 5 years. This helps the teachers to understand the students better.
4. Helping Parents Learn Parenting
Parents of newborn babies are given 3 books, one each for both parents and a baby book for the child as part of a “maternity package”.
5. No Exams Until Children are In Their Teens
The teachers of Finland think they know far more about the children than what the tests can tell them and the system supports this philosophy. Only one mandatory standardized test is taken in Finland when the children are at the age of 16. No wonder the kids look so happy.
6. No Child Left Behind
Children during the first 9 years of school are provided with 30% extra help and moreover the struggling students are provided with extra teachers. Children with different IQ levels whether clever or not are taught in the same classroom.
7. Low Student-Teacher Ratio
Each classroom consists of 20 student per class whereas science class includes 16 students per class so that there is room enough for performing practical experiments in each class.
8. Sufficient Recess Time
In elementary school the Recess time is 75 minutes which is more compared to the USA which is 27 minutes. This is a motivating and refreshing factor for the students.
9. High QualityTeachers
Teachers have master’s degree which are fully subsidized. They are selected from top 10% of graduates.
10. Less Teaching and More learning
Teachers are free to use own method of teaching rather than following orthodox methods. They might only teach for 4 hours of the school day spending 2 hours on building curriculum and assessing student’s problems.
11. Option of Going to Vocational Schools
43% of the high school students go to vocational schools. The Finnish Education System recognizes and respects all professions, academic and vocational.
12. State Funded Education
The entire education system is funded by the state. Finnish parents do not need to worry about how they are going to send their children off to college.
13. Respect for Profession
Teaching is regarded as a respected profession in Finland as the teachers are given the same status as doctors and lawyers and paid handsomely.