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Rob van der Poel


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‘Finse kinderen worden zelf verantwoordelijk gemaakt voor eigen leerweg’

27 december 2011

robvanderpoel

Geplaatst in: Partnerschap, Samenleving,

 Anna Sangi vertelt iets over het Finse onderwijs. Ze is lerares aan 8-9 jarige kinderen op een primary school in het zuiden van Finland, dichtbij Helsinki. Haar mening na het zien van de documentaire The Finland Phenomenon? ‘It gives a good, but superficially view of Finnish education.  Not all teachers in Finland are graduated from teacher education, otherwise than the documentary indicates.”

Anna Sangi is a primary school teacher in Espoo, Viherkallio’s school. Espoo is located in Southern Finland, right next to Helsinki.  My pupils are on second grade, age between 8-9 years. The school is quite small, approximately 300 pupils. In Viherkallio´s curriculum is written that education and teaching are connected together and should not be separated. Important priority for the pupils is ‘learn how to learn’ and that includes the responsibility of own studying and learning. There is an intention to give as complete and consistent school career as it’s possible. Co-operation with parents is very important.

Viherkallio’s school is based on arts; drama, drawing, painting etc. Also sports are very important, indoor sports but also skiing, ice-skating and many summer activities.

The Finland Phenomenon –documentary gives a good but superficially view of Finnish education. We do start our school later than in many other countries, in age when the school mature is achieved. School days are quite short, depending on age. Pupils get homework almost every day; number of those depends also of the age. With my pupils i’m very precise not to give them stress of succeeding. Attempting to succeed is most important. Most of the time children want to please their teacher so there’s no need to be stringent.

Education of teachers is longer in Finland than most of the countries and it’s quite hard to get in. Not all teachers in Finland are graduated from teacher education, otherwise than the documentary indicates. I’m doing my masters of educational science, which is my major; minors are psychology and special education just for example. I haven’t graduated yet but in Finland it is quite usual that people study and then they work betwixt, some many years.  It’s impossible to get regular appointment in any schools if you are not formally qualified teacher. But you can be hired to temporary substitutement like for a year. Principals can make the decisions by them selves. Especially in Southern Finland there is shortage of labour with teachers. That’s the reason why substitute teacher are often without certification.

Our work is totally based on trust. Teachers can organize the lessons by themselves but we have to follow our curriculum. In my school the principal is taking care that everyone know what they are doing and why they are doing. It’s very important to him that we follow our curriculum.  We have official meeting with all teachers once a week and one team meeting also once a week. Teachers are doing a lot of collaboration with eachother and also with a principal.

Anna Sangi is a primary school teacher in Espoo, Viherkallio’s school.
Espoo is located in Southern Finland, right next to Helsinki.