The latest PISA scores from 2015 ranked the performance of the finnish school kids once more as one of the highest among the participating countries in science, reading and mathematics. This is the position which Finland has had since the beginning of the PISA testing.
In recent years this has brought a lot of publicity to the Finnish school system. Countless news reports have tried to reveal the secret behind it. The PISA (The Programme for International Student Assessment) results were considered to be surprising. How does a small country of only 5,5 million people manage to beat big nations such as US, UK and many others?
Part of the answer is expressed by our opinion that the most important test score from 2015 is this: “In Finland, the average level of student’s life satisfaction is one of the highest among countries and economies participating in PISA.” Also this sounds nice: “The index of schoolwork-related anxiety was one of the lowest among PISA-participating countries and economies.”
It is no secret that when you are happy and relaxed you learn better!
In Finland schools do not prepare kids to pass some tests but rather they prepare everyone for good life and equal opportunities. This is achieved by having free high quality public schools where there is enough time for play and joy, well educated and motivated teachers, and extra counselling provided for everyone who needs it. The basic attitude is that the potential for each student should be maximized.
Finnish success in education has its roots in our history and in our culture which values cooperation over competition and puts a strong emphasis on equality. For example in Finland we find it important that mothers are able to have a long maternity leave. This way Finnish kids get a strong start to their learning right from the beginning of their lives.
To summarize, the secret to the success of us Finns is equality, having fun while learning (and by the way, teaching too!) and the idea of life-long learning. We at Code School Finland truly believe in these principles and we are proud to export them all over the world.