The Secret of Finnish Education: Phenomenon-Based Learning

Table of Contents

Description

Finnish PISA results in recent years have put the Finnish Education System in the limelight and raised worldwide interest. Researchers started to visit Finnish universities and other educational institutions looking for answers to what was considered the “Finnish miracle”.

How did education in Finland move from being close to international averages to ranking at the top in international testing exams? What’s the secret behind the success of the Finnish education system?

One of the elements that played a major role in the turnaround of the Finnish Education System is the Finnish brand, peruskoulu, or the 9-year comprehensive basic school, and the holistic approach, or phenomenon-based learning (PhBL), the motto of which is “less is more”.

This course will offer participants an insight into PhBL in Finland, and the educational approaches and techniques accompanying this approach. Participants will learn how to plan and assess phenomenon-based tasks and projects by using planning and assessment tools.

Through the analysis of different case studies of phenomenon-based lessons, participants will be able to identify and observe the elements behind the scene and the pillars of PhBL.

Teachers will explore the concept and importance of teaching with joy and positivity, looking closely at Finnish school scenarios, and will participate actively in a group discussion about the trends of future education in Finland, and not only.

By the end of the course, participants will have gained a thorough understanding of phenomenon-based learning in Finland; they will, therefore, be equipped with valuable ideas and approaches for teaching Finland-style, that is, in a motivating and engaging way.

Concept by: Irena Papa

Learning outcomes

The course will help the participants to:

  • Gain insight into and become familiar with the Finnish Phenomenon Based Learning Approach;
  • Discover different games and techniques to teach the Finnish way;
  • Practice how to make a lesson plan and assess in a Phenomenon Based learning environment;
  • Promote Digital Storytelling as a powerful tool to boost the teaching and learning process;
  • Appreciate the shift from STEM to STEAM in Finnish schools;
  • Reflect on the future of education.

Tentative schedule

Day 1 – Introduction to the Finnish education system

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
  • Icebreaker activities;
  • Presentations of the participants’ schools;
  • Open discussion: Participants’ expectations for the course;
  • Introduction to the Finnish Education system throughout the years – Less is more.

Day 2 – Phenomenon-Based Learning

  • A Finnish success;
  • Phenomenon-Based Learning: What and How?
  • Planning and Assessing Phenomenon Based Learning;
  • Pedagogical Models of PhBL.

Day 3 – Teaching the Finnish way

  • Educational Approaches in Finland;
  • Teaching with joy and making it fun;
  • Digital Storytelling;
  • Using games for learning to increase students’ motivation and engagement.

Day 4 – Finnish STEAM education in practice

  • STEAM in practice;
  • The benefits of STEAM learning environment;
  • A Finnish holistic school pedagogy.

Day 5 – The future of education

  • Let’s identify the key drivers of future change;
  • Learning tools to predict future trends in education;
  • Life-long learning in Finland.

Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities

  • Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

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