Finland : Policy and Vision
Rautiainen, M., & Kostiainen, E. (2015). Finland : Policy and Vision. In T. Corner (Ed.), Education in the European Union : Pre-2003 Member States (pp. 91-108). Bloomsbury.
© 2015 Bloomsbury Publishing. This is an author's final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Bloomsbury. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Finland’s educational history can be divided into three periods. The first started in the Middle Ages when formal schooling began to develop in association with the church. The second started in the 17th century when Christian popular education was extended to include, in principle, the entire population. The third change was in the 19th century when the educational system significantly expanded to encompass not only basic education but also higher education and adult education. The past decade has been very successful for Finland, at least according to international assessments measuring school learning outcomes (such as PISA and TIMMS). At the end of November 2012 Finland’s education system was ranked the best in the developed world according to a survey carried out by the education company Pearson. What are the reasons for these results? In particular two significant trends underlie them. Firstly, the way the position of education has been shaped in Finnish society and, secondly, the organization of school and teacher education from the 1970s on. Although the history of Finnish education can be regarded as a success story (especially during recent decades), the challenges for the future are huge. Society is changing rapidly and at the moment the ‘hot’ issues from pre-education to higher education are similar: what are the aims of education and what is ICT’s role in education. In this chapter we will first present the history of education in Finland. In the second part the focus is on the contemporary system and in the third we discuss the future of education in Finland. ...
Is part of publicationEducation in the European Union : Pre-2003 Member States