education reform Finland

Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with ‘topics’ as country reforms its education system

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings

Subject-specific lessons – an hour of history in the morning, an hour of geography in the afternoon – are already being phased out for 16-year-olds in the city’s upper schools. They are being replaced by what the Finns call “phenomenon” teaching – or teaching by topic. For instance, a teenager studying a vocational course might take “cafeteria services” lessons, which would include elements of maths, languages (to help serve foreign customers), writing skills and communication skills.

The reforms reflect growing calls in the UK – not least from the Confederation of British Industry and Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt – for education to  promote character, resilience and communication skills, rather than just pushing children through “exam factories”. (
(My Note/Question: so UK is ready to scrap what US pushes even harder with the STEM idea?)

More on education in Finland and its education in this IMS blog:

video games Norway

Literature, Ethics, Physics: It’s All In Video Games At This Norwegian School

game-based learning seems to be a misnomer, as the learning is not based on games, but enhanced by them. Commercial games are repurposed and modified to support curricular goals, as opposed to driving them. Of course, learning can and should also be based on games, as they are valid texts that can be studied in and of themselves, but it is important to see video games as elastic tools whose potential uses exceed their intended purpose.

My note: game-enhanced learning can be safely classified under “gamification”:

Gamification is defined as the process of applying game mechanics and game thinking to the real world to solve problems and engage users (Phetteplace & Felker, 2014, p. 19; Becker, 2013, p. 199; Kapp, 2012).

More on the issue of gaming and gamification (including coding) in Scandinavian countries:

snapchat and education

The author erroneously focuses on Snapchat as a service and university administration, monitoring and censorship; it is a basic issue of education. Educating the Millennials and Gen Z about privacy, netiquette and digital humanity.

Education is about letting students explore, fail, learn from their failure and improve. #FinlandPhenomenon

Temporary Messages, Lasting Impact

From the responses under the article:


Still trying to understand the academy’s apparent obsession with monitoring and controlling/influencing every possible aspect of student and faculty behavior, on and off campus. Sometimes I can’t decide if it’s kind of a Stalinist control thing, a guy in the back of a windowless van thing, or some kind of extension of a juvenile obsession with everyone’s behavior but your own. That someone complains does not automatically suggest that someone must “do something,” particularly when “doing something” is often prohibited by law to begin with (in the case of administrators and the university).