Finland’s new, weird school ‘courses’ say a lot about how we teach our kids.

Education isn’t easy

Not just as a student, but as a teacher. You’re supposed to keep them disciplined and teach them the curriculum, but it rarely, if ever, actually teaches them anything. School subjects don’t make up our lives, events do. Math doesn’t teach you how to do taxes. Knowing how climate change affects us isn’t biology. So how do you get children to know about these topics when the curriculum is all about Math, Chemistry, Physics, etc?

By disregarding them, of course.

See, Finland has been leading in education forever. If there’s anything we should learn from them, it’s how they teach the next generation. Back in the 1980s, they started experimenting with something called “Phenomenon-based learning”. Where, instead of being taught about chemistry, they’re taught about instead how the body digests things, or how acid rain is made. Real life issues, and real life problems.

And no, they aren’t replacing traditional subjects with these phenomenon-based learning topics either.

They’re just there to tie together everything the students learn. An applicative aspect of their education.

Of course, while there isn’t a single magical solution to smarter kids in the future, this is a good step forward. They changed the curriculum to make phenomenon-based learning compulsory, and I look forward to seeing the results.

But looking at Finland’s track record, I’d say they got this on lock. So maybe we should learn from them. Piling on raw information that students scarcely have any idea what to do with isn’t helping or working. But this just might.

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