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Aside from having the best education, teaching methods in Finland are acclaimed worldwide. It’s no surprise, then, that people are curious about the teaching methods of the Finnish education system. How do those methods differ from their home country’s methods? Furthermore, can teaching methods in Finland be challenging for international students?
What are the teaching methods in Finland?
Today we’ll feature effective yet exciting teaching methods in Finland! We will also introduce you to Edunation’s Pathway to Finland – a preparatory program that is specifically designed to assist you in having better access to higher education in the happiest country in the world!
Teaching methods in Finland – meet your learning instructors!
Finnish professors, teachers, and other academic instructors are world-class. With a high degree of independence and trust, they carefully plan and design each lecture by themselves. According to Finnish students, one of the fascinating abilities of Finnish teachers is the ability to tailor various stimulating lectures and classes that can expand their thinking.
Another characteristic of Finnish teachers is transparency. Education in Finland tends to be less hierarchical, especially in universities. It means that the teachers are approachable and flexible to meet the needs of the students.
As a result, the learning can be adjusted to the needs of, for example, students who are already in working-life but want to further their knowledge and skills. It shows in the feedback the teachers receive from the students.
Additionally, Finns, including teachers, possess something called sisu. It could be translated as resilience or inner toughness. Teachers push students towards independent critical thinking and develop their learning and problem-solving skills.
Different Teaching Methods in Finland
Learning in Finnish universities generally revolves around lectures and seminars. However, within those lectures and seminars, teachers employ several instructive strategies to educate students in a practical manner that is useful not only academically but also for working life. Finnish educators specifically teach cooperation and collaboration, which are essential skills in every line of work. Alongside problem-solving skills, co-operating is one of Finland’s most sought-after skills in working life.
Here’s a list of the different teaching methods teachers mix-&-match in Finland!
ACTIVE LEARNING IN TRADITIONAL CLASSROOM
Even though the traditional classroom can be rather teacher-centered, in Finland, teachers aim to make the student active participants in the school. Teachers act merely as facilitators to suggest avenues for exploring different topics. Teachers can be unobtrusive even in a traditional classroom, offering assistance and direction as required.
In a traditional classroom in Finland, students are not only taking notes while passively listening. Teachers encourage students to actively discuss and share their thoughts and perspectives on the topics and themes of the lectures. Students can also share their experiences of the topic’s relevance to their lives.
Making the student active participants in the traditional classroom provides them with abilities for critical thinking. And the students know this! Often, they will independently research the themes of the lectures.
Flipped classroom means that instead of the teacher providing the information during the lecture, leaving the students with “homework” to be conducted after, the students will study the lecture topic beforehand. It usually happens by watching a video or reading an article. In classrooms, then, students will deepen their knowledge of the subject through discussions and exercises. This method has been proven to be highly effective.
On top of being an efficient way to learn, flipped classroom generally increases students’ study motivation and ability for self-reflection and self-direction. Students can assess their knowledge and skills. They will also have a better understanding of what to improve.
Additionally, flipped classroom goes hand-in-hand with the ideals of communication, cooperation, and collaboration. Students can discuss with each other and the teacher for the best possible subject comprehension.
PBL (Problem Based learning ) & THE CASE METHOD
PBL & the case method (or the case study method) are valued student-centered teaching methods in Finnish universities, especially in business, engineering, and nursing studies.
In short, the students will tackle a certain problem or case, that has usually “real-life” applications. Students will usually do their own research on the problem and possibly present their solutions for the classroom. It is said that paradoxically nothing is a better way to learn than to teach!
PBL and the case method allow students to gather definitions of the topics of their studies by themselves. Students can also approach these problems or cases through open-ended discussions and problem-solving. In addition, by presenting their findings, students also learn special presentation skills.
Debating as a teaching method will give students a platform to influence the opinions of others. It also challenges students to discuss their views and make arguments and counterarguments.
Students can either defend their point of view, or the teacher will divide the class arbitrarily to be for or against the topic of the lecture or seminar. The debate aims to learn about and understand different perspectives and views.
Literature circles are usually organized on the student’s initiative. These circles can immensely help many students struggling with the course materials. The point is to read the course materials bit by bit and assemble them to discuss the content to ensure everyone understands it.
The strength of literature circles as a teaching method is to offer peer insight, social learning, and time management.
HOW ARE STUDENTS ASSESSED IN FINLAND?
The Finnish education system provides students with various modern and efficient teaching methods, and students are assessed through various means. Assessing can also be pedagogically sound and serve as a learning experience. We have already mentioned presentations as part of PBL and the case method. But what else is there? Here are a few more examples.
EXAMS AND ESSAYS
Traditionally universities use exams and essays to assess students. Exams usually require students to memorize the most valuable information of the course so well that they know it by heart. On the other hand, essays ensure the students learn how to apply the knowledge they have access to do something practical.
Learning journals, also known as a learning diary, gives students a platform for reflection and critical thinking. In the journal, the student will review, discuss, and attach their thoughts on the course topics and reflect on them to better understand them. The teacher will then provide students with individualized remarks about their thinking.
Pathway to Finland of Edunation
Glad that you’ve made it this far! If you are fascinated by the teaching methods in Finland and would love to study in a higher education institute in the happiest country in the world, we at Edunation can help you with that!
Edunation’s Pathway to Finland is a preparatory program that will surely assist you in gaining access to university studies in Finland. Our study tracks prepare you for higher education studies and help you to achieve the required skill level for university admission. After completing the Pathway to Finland program, you will be qualified to continue your studies at one of our partner universities in Finland!
In a nutshell
The teaching methods in Finland generally place importance on personalized learning, collaboration, and pleasant student participation.
Additionally, teaching methods in Finland specifically assist students in cultivating skills in critical thinking, enthusiasm for education, and a strong sense of community.
Apply to our pathway to Finland now to upgrade your learning skills and build the best version of yourself in the happiest country in the world!
Do you have more questions? Book a counseling session now! We also offer interactive Finnish language courses that will specifically teach you industry-related words to help you effectively communicate in the country.
About the writers
Jonne is a fourth-year student of Educational Sciences at the University of Turku. He’s interested in intercultural communication, education export, and global learning and is currently working on his Master’s thesis on Religious Education.
Aleksi has been studying Administrative Sciences at Tampere University for four years. He plans to study for another year for his thesis. He is an active student that does a lot of organizational work such as volunteering, filming, planning events, collaborations, and tutoring.
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