Introduction to the Education System in Finland
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Introduction to the Education System in Finland

How Does It Work? Learn the basics of the Finnish Education System
3.0 (1 rating)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
9 students enrolled
Created by Dr Raimo Salo
Last updated 12/2016
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  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 21 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • At the end of this course, you have learnt the basics of the Finnish Education System and increased your understanding why Finland has done so well in education. We will go through the factors behind the world-famous success story to give an in-depth understanding of the practices in Finnish schools. You will be able to modify the knowledge gained from this course into your own profession. You will know the best practices of the Finnish Education System. With the help of this course you will get ideas to your own work in the field of education to be implemented and modified according to your personal needs. You will meet colleagues on-line from other countries and exchange your practices with them. You can exchange views and ideas by joining our Global Community of Professionals. This forum is an on-line platform where you can express your messages and questions to other professionals around the world. There are several exercise topics for you to choose from and ready-made links to enter the topic forum.
View Curriculum
  • There is no previous knowledge needed for the course.

Learn the basics of the Finnish Education System and increase your knowledge about how does it work in practice.

With the help of this introductory course you will get ideas to your own work in the field of education to be implemented and modified according to your needs.

Get an overview of the world-famous education system in this comprehensive course.

  • Find New Perspectives and Ideas to Be Adapted to Your Work
  • Build a Strong Foundation of the Ways to Support Students’ Learning
  • Learn the Structure of the Finnish Education System
  • Recognise the Key Factors Behind the Success Story

Improve Your Professional Competence

Learning the basics of the Finnish Education System will give you new ideas and views to improve your work. With the help of this easy-to-approach tutorial you are able to get an overall understanding about one of the best performing education systems in the world.

In addition, the course includes exercises for you to choose from. The exercises are easy to do and they include a ready-made link, which lead you directly to the discussion forum.

With the help of your colleagues from all around the world you can deepen your knowledge of similarities and differences of educational practices. The course exercises give you a safe environment to express your insights of your professional interests with other professionals.

The new, fresh ideas and perspectives compiled from discussions that you will have together with fellow professionals can make a true change not only for your work but especially for your students’ future.

With the help of the course content and interaction with colleagues you will be able to develop your professional competence. This gives you a solid background to share your new knowledge within your institution and build a better learning environment to the community.

Content and Overview

This tutorial is suitable for anyone who is interested to get an overall understanding of the Education System in Finland.

The course is divided into 7 Sections containing altogether 32 Lectures. The number of Lectures varies between 1-8 depending on the Section.

You can watch the videos in each Section in the order of your own wish but we recommend you to follow the order from 1 to 7.

You will get updated information about the Finnish education practices and policies through this course of 32 Lectures and nearly two hours of videos.

There are altogether 15 Exercises for you to choose from. In order to get your Course Certificate you are required to participate in four Exercises in an on-line discussion forum.

All Exercises are based on your own work so there are no further reading required. You can describe the practices in your own work and get similar posts from your colleagues from other schools, cities and countries.

All details of the course can be found within the course description. You do not need any textbook as a reference material. As you get started, feel free to ask any questions as they arise and I will personally be happy to reply to you as soon as possible.

The Course Lectures and the Exercises that you do will help you to adapt your new learned knowledge into practice immediately.

You will learn the basics of the Finnish Education System and understand why Finland has done so well in education.

We will go through the factors behind the world-famous success story to give you an in-depth understanding of the practices in Finnish schools.

It is important to make it very clear that in my opinion Finland does not have “one-solution fits all countries” kind of education system or an answer to the question how education should be organised. Even though Finnish students have done well in PISA rankings, the education system as such cannot be copied and implemented anywhere else.

The Finnish school system is inseparable from the culture, which it serves.

Finland is a socially cohesive and equitable society, and it gets a consistently reliable school system to match.

So, why to attend to this course?

This course offers possibilities to your professional growth in the field of education.

The main purpose of this course is to give you ideas, views and perspectives for your own work as an educator, teacher, assistant, administrator, executive or any other title you’re having in the wide field of education.

In the beginning of the course you will build yourself an inclusive insight of the Characteristics of the Finnish Education System. You will learn the most typical features that make the System unique in the world. By watching the Video Lectures and participating in Exercises of your own choice you will establish a strong understanding of the main Finnish Education elements and components.

With these Basic Characteristics mastered, the course will introduce you the Different Levels of Education. We will cover the Early Childhood Education and Care, Pre-School, Basic Education, and Options After Basic Education.

After completing the Course you will have the knowledge to modify the best practices of the Finnish Education System into your work.

Since this course is a self-paced course it does not include any in-person class meetings or synchronous web conferences. You can start and finish the course according to your own schedule. There is no expiration date so you can take your time when best suited to your calendar.

After completing the course requirements you will receive a valid Course Certificate.

You are a person with a capacity to make changes.

You are the link between the past and the future.

The changes you make can have an influence on many of your students’ future.

Who is the target audience?
  • A target student is a person working or studying in the field of Education. This course is for people who are interested to develop their knowledge about the factors behind the success of the Finnish Education System. The course introduces the different levels of education system.
  • Professionals working in the field of early childhood education, primary, secondary, senior secondary, vocational and higher education will benefit from the course.
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Curriculum For This Course
32 Lectures
Introduction to the Course
5 Lectures 08:58

The first lecture introduces the headlines for all seven sections.

Also, you will get the information about the content we will cover in section number one.

In section 1.1 there is a Welcome Letter for you to be read.

You can find more information about the Course Curriculum as a pdf-file.

Preview 01:22

You will learn how the course is structured in seven sections and 32 lectures.

The attached document in Lecture 1.2 is Course information Education System in Finland.pdf

In this document you will find clear information about the Course.

You will also get instructions about the Exercises related to course content.

There is more information attached to the document Exercises for the Course Education System in Finland.pdf

Preview 01:04

In this lecture we will briefly introduce the company Finland School of Education (FSoE).

Read more about the Finnish School of Education and Dr Salo’s professional background from this file: Introducing Finland School of Education.pdf

You will learn the philosophy and vision of FSoE. We will tell you shortly on what basis we have built our training courses. Also, we describe how we view teaching and learning processes.

FSoE highly values the collaboration of students and also of education professionals. That is why we highlight the interaction between the participants in this course. We all have something to give and something to learn from one another

Preview 03:54

This lecture gives you detailed information about the Exercise 1 which is the only compulsory Exercise for all participants.

Your task is to introduce yourself shortly to others by replying to three simple questions.

You can find the information to accomplish the Exercise 1 as an attached pdf file: 1 Exercise for the Course Education System in Finland

Preview 01:56

The first Section ends with a conclusion lecture where we go through the main features of the first Section.

1.5 Conclusion Lecture
2 Basics of the Finnish Education System
6 Lectures 16:29

In Lecture 2.1 you will gain knowledge of the most important characteristics of the Finnish Education System. Some of these factors lie behind the excellent PISA results.

Lecture 2.1 includes the Exercise number 2

2.1 Characteristics of the Finnish Education System

With the help of this Lecture you can accomplish an overall understanding of the structure, which forms the basis of the students’ education path.

2.2 Structure of the Finnish Education System

Basic Education in Finland

2.2 Structure of the Finnish Education System
1 question

This Lecture describes the timetable of the national academic year. You will also learn how many lessons students attend school in Basic Education and about the length of the lessons.

2.3 Timetable and Holidays of the Academic Year

The Amount of School Days in Finland

2.3 Timetable and Holidays of the Academic Year
1 question

In Lecture 2.4 we provide information about the free services offered by the government for all students. Finland is especially proud of the long tradition of free school meals in compulsory education.

Lecture 2.4 includes the Exercise number 3

2.4 Free Services

Here we go through the morning and afternoon care service content provided for the 1st and 2nd grade students. We describe the objectives and content for the care provided.

Lecture 2.5 includes the Exercise number 4.

2.5 Morning and Afternoon Care

Conclusion 2.6 highlights the main content provided in Section 2.

2.6 Conclusion Lecture
3 Different Levels of Education
8 Lectures 29:43

We begin the Section 3 by describing the Finnish Society’s support for families, including the government subsidised Early Childhood Education and Care.

You will learn what makes a big difference in the Finnish Early Childhood Education and Care compared to many other countries’ similar services.

Lecture 3.1 includes the Exercise number 5.

3.1 Early Childhood Education and Care

Pre-school policies and practices differ very much from the other countries’ pre-school. The objectives and requirements for children are set in the national curriculum, which guides the work of the staff members.

Lecture 3.2 includes the Exercise number 6

3.2 Pre-School

In Lecture 3.3 you learn the main elements behind the practices in Basic Education.

You will learn the amount of lessons provided in each school subject.

Lecture 3.3 includes the Exercise number 7.

3.3 Basic Education

Lecture 3.4 covers the description of school subjects provided for students. Finnish society has always appreciated the skills in foreign language which are offered with a wide variety.

3.4 School Subjects

Which non-academic subject do Finnish students study?

3.4 School Subjects
1 question

Primary School practices are described in Lecture 3.5. The National Core Curriculum guides the work in schools. 

3.5 Grades 1-6

Secondary School comprises of grades 7-9 where the practices differ from the primary school practices. 

3.6 Grades 7-9

After Basic Education when students have completed nine grades they can apply to continue to the secondary level education. There are two main forms to choose from. We introduce the Upper Secondary Schools’ structure in detail.

Lecture 3.7 includes the Exercise number 8.

3.7 Options After Basic Education

Where do students usually continue their studies after Basic Education ends after grade 9?

3.7 Options After Basic Education
1 question

The Conclusion Lecture reviews the items covered in Section number 3.

3.8 Conclusion Lecture
4 Equal Opportunities for All
6 Lectures 22:46

Finland has succeeded in international education tests wonderfully despite the fact that students’ study programmes are not loaded with a great amount of lessons during every day. Actually, the reality is the opposite.

Lecture 4.1 includes the Exercise number 9.

4.1 Less Is More

One of the many reasons behind the high-quality education and excellent PISA results are the highly educated teachers. In Lecture 4.2 you will learn about the process to be employed as a teacher in Finland.

Lecture 4.2 includes the Exercise number 10.

Preview 06:34

Finnish education institutions rely on internal Quality Assurance rather than external governance and control. Find out the principles of the Finnish way to guarantee the high level of quality. 

4.3 Quality Assurance

Finland has recently started to implement a new National Core Curriculum in August 2016. Learn more about the process how Curriculum is designed in different levels of authorities and what does it emphasise.

Lecture 4.4 includes the Exercise number 11.

4.4 Curriculum

High autonomy on every level of management describes well the reality of the Finnish Education System. We also cover the role of the Head Teachers in schools.

Lecture 4.5 includes the Exercise number 12.

4.5 School Management

The Conclusion Lecture reviews shortly the main topics covered in Section 4.

4.6 Conclusion Lecture
5 Supporting Learning
5 Lectures 20:43

Finland is famous for supporting all students according to their individual needs. That is one of the major components why the learning results have been so great for many years. Students’ well-being is in focus currently. To receive support is not unusual at all in Finnish schools. You will learn the structure to provide support for students in need for extra help.

Lecture 5.1 includes the Exercise number 13.

5.1 Supportive Ethos

Parents are one of the key stakeholders and partners in supporting students’ learning. 

5.2 Collaboration Between Home and School

Finnish parents are willing to co-operate with teachers.

5.2 Collaboration Between Home and School
1 question

Learning environments create the physical and mental context for learning processes. The effect for learning results may greatly be affected by the quality of physical learning environment.

Lecture 5.3 includes the Exercise number 14.

5.3 Learning Environments

Assessment can be practised for several purposes. Find out in Lecture 5.4 the main features of the Finnish assessment practices and policies.

Lecture 5.4 includes the Exercise number 15.

5.4 Assessment

5.5 Conclusion Lecture
6 Finland’s PISA Success Story
1 Lecture 03:57

In Lecture 6.1 you will learn some of the factors behind the Finland’s PISA success story. You will learn what are the many factors behind the high quality of education.

6.1 Excellent PISA Results
7 BONUS SECTION: The Future of the Finnish Education System
1 Lecture 02:19

Where is the Finnish Education going in the future? How does the New National Core Curriculum affect the everyday practices in classrooms? In the final Lecture we will have a look in the future and bring up themes, which are in the focus for the coming years.

Lecture 7.1 includes instructions to how to get your Course Certificate.

BONUS: 7.1 What is on the focus?
About the Instructor
Dr Raimo Salo
3.0 Average rating
1 Review
9 Students
1 Course
Founder and Director of Finland School of Education

Internationally minded teacher trainer with more than 20 years of experience of the Finnish Education System. 

Dr Salo started his career as a teacher working in Finland in international schools. Later he moved on to work as a Project Manager at the University of Oulu planning in-service training courses for education professionals and as a Coordinator at the Department of Education managing multiple national and international education projects. 

His solid background with local, national and international project management has given hands-on experience about different education systems. Dr Salo has got opportunities to give lectures about Finnish education practices e.g. in the UK, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Poland, Indonesia, the Netherlands and Belgium.

During 1999-2001 Dr Salo worked in the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture in Namibia as a Technical Adviser revising national curricula. Developing the education in Namibia for two years gave him the insight how to give nationwide input to develop the quality of education. 

During October 2015 – April 2016 he has spent five months in Thailand learning more about the Thai education system and also giving training and workshops about the Finland's Education Practices. 

Enthusiasm in developing pedagogics and assessment practices has proven during the years that teamwork pays off! Enjoying of collaboration with other professionals gives him energy to develop the quality of education with other professionals. We really can learn together and from each other!

All of us can improve throughout our careers and develop professional competence, so training courses are not a cost – they are an investment!