While Croatia Argues over Education, Finland Abolishes All School Subjects

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A good example for Croatia?

The Finnish education system is considered to be one of the best in the world. In international rankings, Finland is always among the top ten. And while Croats are still arguing over who will lead the curricular reform, Finnish education experts have been carrying out a revolution in their education system – they want to abolish school subjects from the curriculum, reports RTL and Školski Portal on June 13, 2017.

Specifically, it means that officially there would be no more classes of physics, maths, literature, history or geography.

Marjo Kyllonen, head of the Department of Education in Helsinki, explained the changes. “There are schools which teach in a traditional way, that was meaningful at the beginning of the 20th century, but now we have different needs. We must have something more appropriate for the 21st century,” she said.

Instead of individual subjects, students will learn interdisciplinary about events and phenomena. For example, the World War II will be explored from the perspective of history, geography, and mathematics, while as part of the “Working in a cafe” course the students will learn about English, economics and communication skills.

This system will be applied to older students, those over the age of 16, and high school students will choose what phenomena, events or topics they want to study, keeping in mind their ambitions for the future and their abilities. So no student will have to go through the entire curriculum of physics or chemistry, at the same time wondering why he or she has to know it all, a question many adults go on to ask themselves.

The traditional communication format between teachers and students will also be changed. The students will no longer sit behind school desks and anxiously wait to be called to answer a question. Instead, they will work in small groups and discuss issues.

The Finnish educational system encourages collective work, which is the reason why the changes will also affect teachers. School reforms will require good cooperation between teachers of different subjects. About 70 percent of teachers in Helsinki have already completed preparatory work in line with the new information presentation system and, as a result, they will also receive higher salaries.


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