Schooling in America and Finland

Mackenzee Klamczynski, Writer


     What makes Finnish schools different from America’s? Finland’s schools have had amazing outcomes. Recently people have started to talk about our schooling systems, and have started to turn heads towards Finland. Finnish schools have great academics, plus being very high in global ranks.                                                                                    

     Finland schools are different from schools in the United States from elementary school to highschool.  In Finland the children are allowed to do what is necessary as a child such as squirm laugh or slouch. They also don’t start school until they’re 7. But in the elementary schools of the U.S. parents are called if the child can’t sit still. Also our school days tend to be 7 to 8 hours a day while Finland school day is only about 3 to 4 hours a day. Even though Finland has the latest of technologies they only use a smart board and a desktop. While at MHS every student has a Chromebook and there are smartphones everywhere.

     In Finland the teachers aren’t told to teach a certain subject and they can change the curriculum to fit the children’s needs. While at USD 418 the teachers have to follow certain rules and follow a curriculum. There are also different requirements between the two countries. In Kansas you have to have a Bachelor’s Degree to teach, but in Finland you need a Master’s Degree. Teaching is also a very respected position in Finland. In the US some of the prestigious jobs are in the Entertainment Industry and the Medical Industry while teachers are not as high.  

There is also a difference in international ranking between the two countries. The United States ranked 14th in Literacy. While Finland ranked number 5. For our overall Education we ranked number 24 and Finland ranked number 1. The McPherson District is ranked number 131 out of 293 districts of Kansas.

     Finland has an amazing school system and lots of people want to change America’s schools to be like theirs. Professor Howard Gardner of Harvard  said “Learn from Finland, which has the most effective schools and which does just about the opposite of what we are doing in the United States. You can read about what Finland has accomplished in ‘Finnish Lessons By Pasi Sahlberg.” Pasi Sahlberg. author has said “If you come to Finland, you’ll see how great American schools could be.”