The Finnish education system is known world-wide for teaching kids to code already in primary school. We are often asked what other countries could learn from the Finnish approach on coding education. Here are our top picks.
Teach skills of the future, not skills of today
The modern world builds on technology, and that’s why those who understand computers and coding will do well in the future. This is why every student needs to understand code around them. This is exactly what the Finland curriculum aims for: students are not taught the skills of today, but the skills of the future. It is heavy work achieving such an ambitious goal. That is why students in Finland practice these skills in school as a part of their everyday studies.
Coding for the sake of coding?
In Finland, coding is introduced as a transversal skill. This means that coding is applied in every school subject to build bridges between various fields of knowledge. Coding is not learned simply for the sake of coding, but rather as a multifaceted 21st century skill. Students will learn best if educators tie coding into other school subjects and to student’s own real-life experiences.
High quality teacher training is the key
In Finland, all teachers in basic education are responsible for teaching coding. We train teachers not to code, but to teach coding. They are not the specialists on coding but the specialists on teaching. Like for the students, it is important for teachers to learn to learn this new topic: to use whatever resources they already have to come up with new creative solutions. This would not be possible without high quality teacher training that builds on the same approach we implement for our students: foster collaboration, creativity and project-based learning.
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Meanwhile, consider participating on 21st Century Coding Pedagogy online course, that gives out a digital badge and involves portfolio work.