What Woodside can learn from Finland’s Education System

How Finland rose to the top.

Daniela Thorne, Staff Writer

Woodside High School students wait anxiously for the bell while their math and science classes drag on, while in Finland students are relaxed as they learn about topics such as climate change.

With minimal homework, and encouraged play time, Finland is ranked sixth in the world for math and science according to BBC news.  

Finland was not always known for their academics, but in approximately 1970, they have been attempting new ways to create a stronger education system. Children under the age of seven have free schooling and child care provided by the law despite whatever their financial situation may be.

The Minister of Education and Science in Finland told NPR that, “If you invest in early childhood education, in preschool and daycare, that will lead [to] better results”

Finland also has shorter school days than Woodside High School, as well as the majority of high schools in the United States. The education system in Finland also allows children to have longer breaks and play times, allowing less time for academics.

“The average Finnish student has 75 minutes a day of recess compared to the mere 27 most U.S. kids get. And not only that, teachers give the kids a 15 minute break after every lesson,” said Deva Dalporto for weareteachers.com.

The teachers in Finland also get better training so that they have a healthy relationship with the children based on respect. These teachers must major in the subject that they teach in order to have their job.

“The training in Finland is very involved, they have much higher standards for teachers and the education system pushes for more time to collaborate.”  Mrs. Vasquez says.

Although teachers are one main difference between schools in the United States, such as Woodside High School, and Finland, the poverty level in the United States is much higher.

As Mrs. Downing, guidance counselor at Woodside High School points out, “Doing homework at home may be difficult to students who do not have a desk so they do not have the same luxury of doing their homework in peace.”