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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

What’s the secret to Finnish school success? | Education -

Isobel Leybold-Johnson, British-trained journalist notes, At a Swiss event, a top Finnish education official explains why the country’s schools are so good - and what the Finns could learn from Switzerland.

Finland on show - the country's stand at Worlddidac
Photo: Worlddidac

Anita Lehikoinen, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education in Finlandexternal link, recently attended the Worlddidacexternal link fair in Bern, which highlights the latest educational trends. Finland, known worldwide for its high-quality public education, was the official guest country for the event.

Switzerland is no slouch in the education stakes either. It came 12th out of all Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in the 2015 PISA educational assessment of 15-year oldsexternal link, whose focus was on science performance.

This compared to Finland’s third place for science among OECD countries. But it was not all jubilation in Helsinki - performance had droppedexternal link by 32 points since Finland’s record high score in 2006, the last time PISA focused on science. Lower performance among boys and differences among the regions were key factors.

We caught up with Lehikoinen at Worlddidac’s Finland stand, which was showing off Finnish innovations in educational technology (“ed tech”), including a “cute robot that can teach you languages”. More on that below.