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I know that in the United States a majority of the discussion about education is currently revolving around Common Core State Standards and the new PARCC testing. Our local news even had another story on the PARCC tests last night. And anywhere you look you will find opinions on both sides in regards to Common Core standards.

However, this post will not be one of those.

Instead, this morning when I woke up I saw an interesting article that was published by “The Independent” about a move that schools in Finland are taking. (The link to this article can be found at the bottom of the post.) In the article, it discussed how schools are trying to move away from the traditional format of teaching “subjects” and they are instead teaching “topics.” The article does a fantastic idea of explaining what this means, but what really caught my attention was the end results of the lessons.

To me, this approach is accomplishing everything that we have been trying to do in the school systems in the United States. The goal of having student-led learning (which is one of the goals with Common Core) is being achieved. Students are learning how to be successful in the real world and they’re not simply being prepared for standardized testing (I’m not saying this is what happens in all schools). But what’s being achieved is that students are becoming better prepared for the working life. With students being taught “topics,” not only are they learning the necessary math, reading, and history skills, but they are also understanding how this information will benefit them in the future.

As stated in the article:

 

Pasi Silander, the city’s development manager, explained: “What we need now is a different kind of education to prepare people for working life.

“Young people use quite advanced computers. In the past the banks had lots of  bank clerks totting up figures but now that has totally changed.

“We therefore have to make the changes in education that are necessary for industry and modern society.”

This is the type of learning that every educational system is trying to achieve in the teaching of their students. I think this move made by Finland will be one that should be watched by countries around the world to understand this approach to learning and its success in preparing students for the future.

Read the full article at:

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

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