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Phenomenal Learning from Finland

Finland's PISA results have raised world-wide interest in Finnish schools and teacher education. What will happen next? Phenomenal Learning from Finland presents Finland's path to 21st-century competencies and the exciting concept of phenomenon-based learning as part of the new curriculum. 

The way to globalization, digitalization, and automation is paved with many challenges shared by countries around the globe. The author states that the Finns will have to raise their valuable school system to a new level and standard. This calls for intensive reforms, both in teacher education and at school. In addition to the broad-based competencies central to the new Finnish curriculum, the book discusses the latest developments in education, innovative pedagogical methods, technologies in education, and new learning environments. The book also challenges some of the urban legends associated with the curriculum reform.

In order to understand where we are going, it is also necessary to see where we are coming from. The story of how Finns made the leap from poverty to a flourishing and equal society may inspire people in countries still on their way to a better life. This book reveals some of the country's secrets to those interested.

The author, professor Kirsti Lonka, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Psychology at University of Helsinki, Finland. She has worked in many countries on several continents to bring the latest innovations and ideas to Finnish education. She is an international researcher and keynote speaker who has inspired thousands of teachers globally.

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Book Review

Books are the best friends, so today on the auspicious occasion, let me introduce you with a newly found friend at Hyderabad. It's a book about Finnish schooling and education system which is at the top of the world.
Title: Phenomenal Learning from Finland
Author: Kirsti Lonka
Publisher: Edita Publishing Ltd., Helsinki
Year of Publication: 2018
Pages: 224

It always intrigued me, how a tiny European nation like Finland emerged at the top in PISA ranking in the 21st century from nowhere. A five-day visit to the nation in May 2017 helped to understand some of the salient features at surface level. Desperately I was eager to learn more. The present book quenched thirst.

The book opens with a short history of Finns. They too faced war, poverty and famine. In the seventies, Finland adopted drastic educational reforms with a firm belief that education is the instrument of change and also the best investment. Equality and educating women are the keys to a flourishing society. They changed the role of a student from a knowledge consumer to a knowledge creator. In the era of 'post-truth' world, efforts are directed towards understanding the diversity of information and the ability to think critically and question concepts are fundamental skills in interpreting and comprehending data.

Now they are ready to face the 21st-century challenges. The new national core curriculum in Finland was published in 2014 and put to practice in 2016. It defined seven broad-based transversal skills. Each skill has been discussed in a separate chapter. Following are the skills and chapter titles;

1. Thinking and Learning to learn
2. Cultural Competencies, Interaction, and Self-expression
3. Self-care and Managing Everyday life
4. Multiliteracy
5. Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
6.Working Life Skills and Entrepreneurship

7. Participating, Influencing, and Building a Sustainable Future

They are well aware of the fact that being self-satisfied and just talking about past success quickly leads to decline. Now educators around the world visit Finland for 'Educational Tourism' every year. Finn's know very well that if not careful, their wonderful school system shall turn into an outdoor museum.
The book is full of examples of new techniques. Concluding chapter paints the picture where the education system heading for the future. A must read the book, especially when the new education policy is knocking at the doors.

"Some books to be chewed and digested" these famous lines by Francis Bacon are apt for this book.


Thank you!

Rajesh Patil
Innovative Classroom

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