The Teacher’s Role in Finland’s Phenomenon-based Learning
Tara García Mathewson, The Hechinger ReportDec 10
Phenomenon-based learning is a lot like project-based learning, a more familiar term in the United States. Both prioritize hands-on activities that give students control over the direction of the project and both emphasize assignments that relate to the real world. They also emphasize student mastery of transferrable skills rather than a narrow set of facts identified by teachers.
Teachers have to make sure students know the foundational knowledge they need on a given topic to even consider developing a research question within it. They need to teach students how to craft appropriate research questions that can lead to interesting and engaging, and hopefully even original, research opportunities. And they need to pause the student-directed investigations to teach and model the skills students should be using on their own along the way.
more on the FInland Phenomenon in this iMS blog
Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with ‘topics’ as country reforms its education system
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pisa/
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”. (http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/mar/20/labour-calls-time-on-exam-factory-approach-to-schooling)
(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: