Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Rethinking Education

I don't believe homework works. I think that if kids aren't learning what they need to in six hours at school, there's some thing wrong and the answer isn't to make them continue working when they get home. After school my kids (5 & 7) are knackered and in no mood for learning. I think it's doing them more harm than good and I absolutely hate forcing them to do it. It also gets in the way of extracurricular activities, to the point where we have to think carefully about whether they get to do these activities or practice spelling. It shouldn't be like that. My kids get less recreation time each day than I do. That's so wrong.

The infographic below makes for interesting reading. This isn't the first time I've heard about Finland's radical rethink of their school system. Apparently they used to have poor test performances until they dumped standardized testing, then their education outcomes improved dramatically. There are a bunch of things they do differently so it's hard to say which is having the most effect. But if these facts are true* then we should be taking notice.

By the way, Finland is the country that Gerry Brownlee said "hardly educates their people". Gerry, that country you mocked is kicking our butts. What does that say about our education system?

Finland Education System

*I haven't verified these facts - can anyone? I've read a lot of comments from Finns and they are mostly supportive with only a few disagreeing about the accuracy of this infographic. Also, I don't know who to credit the graphic to - sorry about that.