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Finnish teaching methods

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Thisismytruth, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Not for the first time, intelligent professionals agree to differ.
    Many a school will have no choice anyway - small schools in rural areas (although governments everywhere have been chiselling away at these) are unable to ring the changes, large international schools can't guarantee continuity even if they wanted to. Can this realistically be a matter of Universal State Policy - even in Finland?
    So it was out of order for me to call myself 'militant', except in the pious hope that whatever we do in our schools, there will emerge from them <strike>a workforce capable and productive enough to fund a warm blanket for me when I'm too old to do my sixty hours </strike>a generation of emotionally intelligent, diversely skilled lifelong learners equipped at long last to build socialism.
  2. Our pupils have a different teacher for every subject even as young as 6. Therefore they are exposed to more methodologies and adults than any given uni student.
    You sound angry Dude, have you just received another tax hike in your May 'nomina'?[​IMG]
  3. Let's see if France provides the answer- I live in hope.
  4. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    No, not that, yet. If so, I'll survive, and anyway my time is nearly up.
    But don't be critical of anger, che.
    Gramsci said (something like) "a cold and reasonable but genuine anger among the oppressed classes is a precondition for fruitful revolutionary activity".
    And Brecht of course went further,
    We have to decide to shoot all those
    Who just endure things as they are.
    For we now have too many afraid to complain,
    Saying Yes, Good, Amen to it all.
    And these, they would have to be shot,
    So that we, in the end, might know what&rsquo;s what.

    Quotations from memory.
    For younger readers, those guys are heroes of the left, not right-wing loonies like me.
  5. Notyet - that sounds interesting. I'm curious as to where you work? I am assuming it is not in the UK.
  6. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Interesting and a good idea. Whether it is typical of that local system, notyet will no doubt tell us.
  7. Different teachers for different subjects is merely a question of maximising human resources. All the Spanish teachers I work with use books and I use bits of books sometimes, specially those which have clear and effective scaffolding.
  8. Have only seen such a thing in a secondary school. I think that system in a primary school would be very interesting indeed.
  9. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    We try to break the spell of the Mother Hen/Father Sheepdog be-all-and-end-all classroom teacher, by putting Year Six in with the Secondary, where they see their teacher about half the time and spend the rest with specialists.
    This scheme, so modest in comparison to notyet's, is viewed with dour suspicion by the National Curriculum zealots among staff and parents. So it must have some merit.
    Still, nothing like a really good Mother Hen at the top of her game. A literary hero, Philip Roth, in one of the few pages of 'Portnoy's Complaint' not given over to onanism, tells how, in his early childhood, one elementary school teacher filled him with the same love and awe as did his mom - to the extent that he came to believe that they were really the same person, and used to sprint home at breakneck speed of an afternoon, hoping to catch her in the act of turning from the one into the other.
  10. Brecht was of course an ace b*llshitter with his Baal's Hymn crepe. Leaving pregnant women by the side of the road, for crying out loud? Is that any way to start a revolution?
    Nope - you've got to go to Mao for that. Closed up the unis, had the teachers 'struggled against' and lit his fags with libraries. Result? By 1982 only 60% of Chinese pople could read and less than 1% had graduate status.
    Revolutionaries? I've sh%t better. The minute anyone starts with that Gramsci, Marx, Leninist **** in my classes I hit them with a rolled up newspaper and rub their noses in it. A good, vigorous right wing repression is always better than letting these left wing f&ckers indulge their fantasies.
    As Ernie Bevin should have said.
  11. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Apologies for raising your blood pressure and causing those hideous boils to sprout all over your nether regions again, Oldgit.
    It's just that Marxism is like Christianity. Even if you've lost the faith - even if you never had the faith but just got given a big dose by your elders... why, the rousing old hymn tunes never fade away.
    Nothing to do with Finland, where, as everywhere, the state education, health and welfare systems represent the triumph of us bourgeois.
    As Ernest Bevin could never have said.
  12. A fair point but with its limitations. Once the Sky Pilots had been put in their place by the Treaty of Westphalia and the Enlightenment, they stopped being allowed to slaughter everyone who thought that an egg should only be stood on the right end and, in the case of the good old Cof E, stopped even requiring you to beleive in the Big Rock Candy Mountain if it got in the way of being a sensible, decent chap who left a sixpence in the plate and didn't drink out of his saucer.
    Unfortunately, the Marxists decided that the Big Rock Candy mountain could be had before you popped your clogs if only a lot of clogs were popped first - but only of those who didn't agree with them (to begin with anyway) so it was OK. This led to a lot of clever chaps with a bit of an education - chaps like Orwell, Gramsci, Satre, Pol Pot etc - deciding that it might be jolly good fun to put the theory into practice even after those naughty, misguided Stalinists had made a few trifling mistakes.
    When it all went t8ts up and Fukuyama read the funeral oration over it, the bl00dy old mass murders got a bit spoony and nostalgic over it all and tried to whitewash it all as a noble experiment that might just work again, given the right circumstances.
    So instead of paying heed to the most popular version of their great anthem which - digression though it is (pace Hugo), I shall quote:
    'The working class can kiss my a&se,
    I've got the Big Man's job at last' -
    they continued to believe that the flinching cowards and sneering traitors were deserting their banner. Actually, they were standing under it. As they always did.
    Would anyone claim, with hindsight, that Lenin in 1918, Mao in 1949 and the rest of the imitators were never the least worse option for either their countries or humanity as a whole? Nazism died in the Berlin Bunker. You should have let Communism die under the ruins of die Mauer.
  13. Excellent idea!
  14. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Occasional commenter

    Meanwhile back in classrooms of the schools on the northern edge of the EU where it borders on Russia.......
  15. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    I've just discovered academia.edu. I don't know if they have anything about Finnish education, but there are a lot of articles there, so worth a look. I also have an interest in comparative education, along with far too many other things. Making narrowing down my M.Ed subject a little tricky! Good luck with your course.
  16. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Good to see someone bringing the thread back down to earth. Wouldn't want to make Frank feel that his return to the forum has <strike>passworded</strike> passed unnoticed.
  17. Thanks cityfree :) I'll have a look. Good luck with the M.ed!!
  18. For home ec. do they have the chef from the Muppets?
  19. Afraid that one is lost on me! Are the muppets finnish or something? lol. I have no idea about anything to do with the muppets :)
  20. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    Wasn't it Finland that was highlighted as the Mecca for good teachers? Something about Tories using Finnish model. So back to "get your textbooks out page ...". And copy from the board and be quite!

    Saves on teacher training costs......

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