What we can learn from Finland

Finland has a history of producing the highest global test scores in the Western world, as well as a trophy case full of other recent No. 1 global rankings, including most literate nation.

In Finland, children don’t receive formal academic training until the age of seven. Until then, many are in day care and learn through play, songs, games and conversation. Most children walk or bike to school, even the youngest. School hours are short and homework is generally light.

Unlike in the United States, where many schools are slashing recess, schoolchildren in Finland have a mandatory 15-minute outdoor free-play break every hour of every day. Fresh air, nature and regular physical activity breaks are considered engines of learning. According to one Finnish maxim, “There is no bad weather. Only inadequate clothing.”

We loved reading this piece on why Finland has the best schools.

It rings so true to  much of our philosophy at Elements –

  • more time spent outdoors, learning about the world
  • lots of creative and physical activity
  • using activities to teach basic concepts
  • unstructured time to allow children the space to tap into their innate curiosity & creativity
  • a lot of emphasis on nature, emotional intelligence and helping build skills such as resilience, compassion, etc

This video compares the Finnish and American systems of education, and it’s fascinating:

Come on over to our Facebook page, and tell us what you think of the article and/or the video. We’d love to hear your thoughts.


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