The education system consists of many details and aspects that need to be considered to ensure decent learning, regardless of the institution’s level. Attention should be paid not only to the actual knowledge itself and the training of the teaching staff but also to reflect specific values in the learning process. Besides, the educational process should be structured in such a way as to be equally comfortable for people of different social groups. Among other countries, Finland is known for its educational system, which has a high reputation among European countries. This essay aims to analyze the Finnish education system in terms of reflecting different kinds of values, social and social.
First of all, it is necessary to understand why it is worth paying attention not to specific teaching methods but general principles and values. The evidence-based approach is prevalent among many educational institutions and is also promoted by many politicians and researchers (Biesta, 2010). The essence of the method is the availability of evidence-based evidence based on data from case studies. In the course of study, this manifests itself in the form of presenting material according to strict rules and an attempt to adjust the entire educational process to the evidence base. And although the method is undoubtedly essential for studying exact sciences such as mathematics and physics, it is not the only one and is irreplaceable.
This approach has at least three possible drawbacks in the form of a lack of knowledge, efficiency, and application, since operating in the learning process occurs only by examples. It is impossible to create a system of concrete examples that will cover all aspects of human interaction. That is why it is necessary to pay attention to the method that addresses values as the basis for decision-making. It is required to include the reflection of values in the educational program.
Schools and universities are much more important than the transfer of knowledge. They should also show and teach the moral foundations with which a person can navigate life and make the right decisions. In this respect, the educational system of Finland compares favorably with similar structures of other European countries. Teachers do not just pay special attention to teaching children different kinds of values; this topic has been woven into the educational process since the very elementary school (Bose, 2017). Ethical norms, moral values, and other vital things are instilled in students from childhood, which is very important for forming personality. With all this, there is no separate subject that would purposefully deal with the issue. Learning the essential values for life is woven into every subject, including math and reading. Thanks to this, students have the opportunity to learn about the world around them most naturally, from different points of view and without unnecessary imposition.
Finland owes the formation of such an education system to three key factors, cultural and personal. First, it is necessary to note the Finnish literary language father, Mikael Agricola, who was the first to translate the Bible into Finnish and was also an educator and humanist (Niemi & Sinnemäki, 2019). His example prompted others to embark on the path of education, which ultimately led to the university’s formation in Turku and the founding of the educational system on a religious basis. Moreover, people with a Lutheran past were often at the head of changes in the educational organization, so its influence is felt especially strongly.
Thanks to this, religious and national values can be found in the education system, even in modern Finland. It focuses most of all on the concepts of freedom, independence, and equality. This quality is inherent in many northern countries, but Finland has stepped on a separate path of development, which led to the system based on the support of students (Niemi & Sinnemäki, 2019). Thus, the main emphasis of this country’s educational structure is placed on equality and mutual assistance, as well as moral qualities borrowed from the religious system of Lutheranism.
With the fundamental roots of the education system in religion, Finnish schools are surprisingly tolerant. Besides, the concept of mutual aid implies the need to help all students, regardless of their status, social or economic status, or personal characteristics. However, Finland, unlike, for example, Denmark and Sweden, does not promote special laws that would regulate educational relationships with people with disabilities (Van Kessel et al., 2019). The state is limited to generic labels and strategies, which leaves schools with a choice of specific approaches. Such a decision also leaves the risk of insufficient control over this area. Nevertheless, the principles and traditions formed in Finland’s educational system, for the most part, eliminate such a danger. Thus, the direct approach and guiding factor is the principle of inclusive learning, through which educational services are provided to all to the same extent.
The element described above is more related to students’ division by objective physical or economic factors, for example, disability. However, Finland is also an extremely multicultural country, which makes its schools and universities filled with students from a wide variety of cultures. Simultaneously, their presence is not limited to participation, since no culture remains unnoticed, which is especially evident in the example of the general celebration of various traditional holidays (Bose, 2017). Representatives of different cultures not only have the right to take part in them; it is actively encouraged. Another example is teaching different religious beliefs in schools in Finland. The most common approaches in this matter are either avoiding the topic altogether or choosing one, usually official, religion, and actively promoting it. The Finnish educational system includes elements of a wide variety of religions, which allows students to learn about the cultural diversity of the surrounding world and better understand a wide assortment of groups of people. No ethnic circle, no class, no culture is neglected in the educational system of Finland.
Thus, Finnish schools and universities are distinguished by their maximum tolerance towards a wide variety of groups, as well as a focus not only on factual knowledge but also on moral values. This approach is especially vital because pure knowledge gained from examples does not provide enough experience to solve many critical issues. On the other hand, the Finnish educational system as a whole is built around the concept of unification, mutual assistance, and equality. This is reflected through the principle of inclusive education, which also guarantees and ensures equal rights to education for all groups of people, including people with disabilities. Finally, a maximally tolerant attitude has been formed towards representatives of different cultures, expressed even in traditional holidays’ general celebration. Thus, Finland compares favorably with many other countries in that it actively weaves ethical and moral values into students’ learning process.
Biesta, G. J. J. (2010). Why “what works” still won’t work: From evidence-based education to value-based education. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 29(5), 491–503. Web.
Bose, S. (2017). Embed values in school lessons. Medium. Web.
Niemi, H., & Sinnemäki, K. (2019). The role of Lutheran values in the success of the Finnish educational system. On the Legacy of Lutheranism in Finland, 113-137.
Van Kessel, R., Walsh, S., Ruigrok, A.N., Holt, R., Yliherva, A., Kärnä, E., Moilanen, I., Hjörne, E., Johansson, S.T., Schendel, D., & Pedersen, L. (2019). Autism and the right to education in the EU: policy mapping and scoping review of Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. Molecular autism, 10(1), 1-15. Web.