Shyam's Slide Share Presentations

VIRTUAL LIBRARY "KNOWLEDGE - KORRIDOR"

This article/post is from a third party website. The views expressed are that of the author. We at Capacity Building & Development may not necessarily subscribe to it completely. The relevance & applicability of the content is limited to certain geographic zones.It is not universal.

TO VIEW MORE CONTENT ON THIS SUBJECT AND OTHER TOPICS, Please visit KNOWLEDGE-KORRIDOR our Virtual Library

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

AS FINLAND AXES SCHOOL SUBJECTS, IS TEACHING BY TOPIC THE WAY TO GO? 03-24


AS FINLAND AXES SCHOOL SUBJECTS, IS TEACHING BY TOPIC THE WAY TO GO?



In Helsinki, 16-year-olds are trying out a revolutionary new way of learning in schools.

Traditional 'subject' lessons have gone out the window in favour of certain 'topics'.

It's a massive change to make, but could it actually work?


Since the dawn of time (probably), school pupils have asked what the point is of learning such-and-such a formula in maths, doing this-and-that with a bunsen burner in chemistry, reading The Lord of the Flies 78 times in English or making a fruit salad in food tech.

While there are many valid arguments about what exactly 'the point' is (Analytical skills! Common sense! Basic housekeeping!), Finland - arguably the best in the world for education - is in the midst of trying out a huge change to the way their schools are run.

In short: it's out with the concept of teaching by subject, and in with teaching by topic.

Pupils in Helsinki are the subjects of a pilot scheme that sees the traditional structure of a school day completely turned on its head. Gone is the idea of having an hour of maths followed by an hour of biology followed by an hour of P.E.; and in are lessons specifically tailored to certain vocations.

The Independent, for instance, gives the example of 'cafeteria services'; which incorporates elements of maths, writing, communication and - for the sake of foreign customers - languages. Lessons on the European Union would include history, geography and economics.

Marjo Kyllonen, Helsinki's education manager, told the newspaper:
On top of changing how lessons are put together, it's also hoped that a 'co-teaching' approach will see more than one member of staff taking a session; with a small top-up in salaries expected for those who embrace the shift.



It's an interesting premise, and of course there are questions to be ironed out: for a start, would university education get shaken-up further down the line? In a few years will we be saying goodbye to BA (Hons) English Literature and hello to BA (Hons) Writing Instruction Manuals?

How much choice will pupils themselves have in what they learn, and how much will be compulsory? Does this help or hinder them later in life when they come to seek out employment - i.e. do things that are too vocational stick them very firmly in one lane for the rest of their lives?

What will this mean for arts subjects; the benefits of which are huge but are already becoming more and more swept aside here in the UK?

All eyes in the education industry will be on the Finns now to see what the results of these revolutionary amendments will be. I can't imagine every teacher, parent or pupil being completely on-board with it, but if the outcomes speak for themselves and it's all executed in the right way, it might just be a great move that the rest of the world will soon be copying.