26 Amazing Facts About Finland’s Unorthodox Education System

Finland Helsinki

[credit provider=”flickr: wstryder” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/wstryder/495006507/sizes/o/in/photostream/”]

Since it implemented huge education reforms 40 years ago, Finland’s school system has consistently come at the top for the international rankings for education systems.So how do they do it?

It’s simple — by going against the evaluation-driven, centralized model that much of the Western world uses.

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[slide
permalink=”finnish-children-dont-start-school-until-they-are-7-1″
title=”Finnish children don’t start school until they are 7.”
content=”(Source: NYtimes)”
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[slide
permalink=”they-rarely-take-exams-or-do-homework-until-they-are-well-into-their-teens-2″
title=”They rarely take exams or do homework until they are well into their teens.”
content=”(Source: NYTimes)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ec6e8996bb3f72c05000002″
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[slide
permalink=”the-children-are-not-measured-at-all-for-the-first-six-years-of-their-education-3″
title=”The children are not measured at all for the first six years of their education.”
content=”(Source: NYTimes)”
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[slide
permalink=”there-is-only-one-mandatory-standardized-test-in-finland-taken-when-children-are-16-4″
title=”There is only one mandatory standardized test in Finland, taken when children are 16.”
content=”(Source: Smithsonian)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ee7c2e16bb3f7b03b000030″
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[slide
permalink=”all-children-clever-or-not-are-taught-in-the-same-classrooms-5″
title=”All children, clever or not, are taught in the same classrooms.”
content=”(Source: Smithsonian)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ec54cffeab8ea8b5f000024″
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[slide
permalink=”finland-spends-around-30-percent-less-per-student-than-the-united-states-6″
title=”Finland spends around 30 per cent less per student than the United States.”
content=”(Source: Smithsonian)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b90f7547f8b9ac923730300″
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[slide
permalink=”30-percent-of-children-receive-extra-help-during-their-first-nine-years-of-school-7″
title=”30 per cent of children receive extra help during their first nine years of school.”
content=”(Source: Smithsonian)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ee9139deab8ea4909000016″
caption=””
credit=””
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[slide
permalink=”66-percent-of-students-go-to-college-8″
title=”66 per cent of students go to college.”
content=”The highest rate in Europe.

(Source: Smithsonian)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e92f46eecad04b95f000017″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”the-difference-between-weakest-and-strongest-students-is-the-smallest-in-the-world-9″
title=”The difference between weakest and strongest students is the smallest in the World.”
content=”(Source: Smithsonian)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ee7c31f6bb3f78c3b000044″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”science-classes-are-capped-at-16-students-so-that-they-may-perform-practical-experiments-every-class-10″
title=”Science classes are capped at 16 students so that they may perform practical experiments every class.”
content=”(Source: TNR)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ec1352069beddf90a000009″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”93-percent-of-finns-graduate-from-high-school-11″
title=”93 per cent of Finns graduate from high school.”
content=”17.5 per cent higher than the US.

(Source: Smithsonian)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e7a263f69bedd1e2d000015″
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[slide
permalink=”43-percent-of-finnish-high-school-students-go-to-vocational-schools-12″
title=”43 per cent of Finnish high-school students go to vocational schools.”
content=”(Source: Smithsonian)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ee911e0eab8ea397d000013″
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[slide
permalink=”elementary-school-students-get-75-minutes-of-recess-a-day-in-finnish-versus-an-average-of-27-minutes-in-the-us-13″
title=”Elementary school students get 75 minutes of recess a day in Finnish versus an average of 27 minutes in the US.”
content=”(Source: TNR)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ee7cb6469beddb16f00000e”
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[slide
permalink=”teachers-only-spend-4-hours-a-day-in-the-classroom-and-take-2-hours-a-week-for-professional-development-14″
title=”Teachers only spend 4 hours a day in the classroom, and take 2 hours a week for “professional development”.”
content=”(Source: NYTimes)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ee7bf2a69bedd945d000017″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”finland-has-the-same-amount-of-teachers-as-new-york-city-but-far-fewer-students-15″
title=”Finland has the same amount of teachers as New York City, but far fewer students.”
content=”600,000 students compared to 1.1 million in NYC.

(Source: NYTimes)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e4bd3f549e2ae0c2a00003a”
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”the-school-system-is-100-state-funded-16″
title=”The school system is 100% state funded.”
content=”(Source: Smithsonian)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ee7c52369bedd286b00001c”
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”all-teachers-in-finland-must-have-a-masters-degree-which-is-fully-subsidized-17″
title=”All teachers in Finland must have a masters degree, which is fully subsidized.”
content=”(Source: NYTimes)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ee912986bb3f75923000022″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”the-national-curriculum-is-only-broad-guidelines-18″
title=”The national curriculum is only broad guidelines.”
content=”(Source: Smithsonian)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ec54cfe6bb3f7f17e000039″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”teachers-are-selected-from-the-top-10-of-graduates-19″
title=”Teachers are selected from the top 10% of graduates.”
content=”(Source: Smithsonian)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e1749704bd7c8d361000000″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”in-2010-6600-applicants-vied-for-660-primary-school-training-slots-20″
title=”In 2010, 6,600 applicants vied for 660 primary school training slots”
content=”(Source: Smithsonian)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ee914f2eab8ea490900001e”
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”the-average-starting-salary-for-a-finnish-teacher-was-29000-in-2008-21″
title=”The average starting salary for a Finnish teacher was $29,000 in 2008″
content=”Compared with $36,000 in the United States.

(Source: NYTimes)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4da754f64bd7c89404270000″
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[slide
permalink=”however-high-school-teachers-with-15-years-of-experience-make-102-percent-of-what-other-college-graduates-make-22″
title=”However, high school teachers with 15 years of experience make 102 per cent of what other college graduates make.”
content=”In the US, this figure is 62%.

(Source: TNR)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ee9185feab8eaf715000002″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”there-is-no-merit-pay-for-teachers-23″
title=”There is no merit pay for teachers”
content=”(Source: TNR)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ee91693eab8ea247b000035″
caption=””
credit=””
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[slide
permalink=”teachers-are-given-the-same-status-as-doctors-and-lawyers-24″
title=”Teachers are given the same status as doctors and lawyers”
content=”(Source: Smithsonian)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4cb485d97f8b9a1342760400″
caption=””
credit=””
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[slide
permalink=”in-an-international-standardized-measurement-in-2001-finnish-children-came-top-or-very-close-to-the-top-for-science-reading-and-mathematics-25″
title=”In an international standardized measurement in 2001, Finnish children came top or very close to the top for science, reading and mathematics.”
content=”It’s consistently come top or very near every time since.

(Source: OECD/PISA)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4c17a2f47f8b9a0c500e0000″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”and-despite-the-differences-between-finland-and-the-us-it-easily-beats-countries-with-a-similar-demographic-26″
title=”And despite the differences between Finland and the US, it easily beats countries with a similar demographic”
content=”neighbour Norway, of a similar size and featuring a similar homogeneous culture, follows the same same strategies as the USA and achieves similar rankings in international studies.

(Source: Smithsonian)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4de7852d49e2ae317b0a0000″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”more-from-europe-27″
title=”More from Europe…”
content=”You Will Never Guess The European Country With The Longest Working Week >
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ee223216bb3f7e57300002b”
caption=””
credit=””
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[/slideshow]