12.08.2019, Johanna Järvinen-Taubert
Education, society and economical growth – what is the equation?
Learning Scoop Latin America representative, Beatriz Arze, performed in a radio program “Business Frequency” in Bolivia last Friday. The program is part of a Bolivian Business Magazine, and it is specialized in economy and business. Since education is closely tied to economic growth, societal development, business environment and people’s wellbeing, they interviewed Beatriz about the experiences Finland has in this field.
Since these themes are frequently discussed also with our customers, we wanted to share some of the perspectives with our readers as well:
Q: What have been the strategic actions to generate development in Finland?
A: Finland’s strategy has been investing in education. Building people’s competencies and know-how provides skillful employees for companies and active and responsible citizens for the society.
Also creating a stable and safe welfare society has given a good and solid foundation for developing companies and new innovations. Finland has chosen to create an equal society, where everyone has a chance to get good – and free – education and pursue their goals despite of their background.
Q: Is education a dynamizer for the economy in Finland? How educated people contribute to the economy and development of the country?
A: Yes, definitely education is a dynamizer for economy in Finland. Well-educated people have the skills and competencies to develop business, organisations and new innovations. Educational institutions in Finland also collaborate a lot with the working life and enterprises and co-creation is common.
An interesting fact: A euro invested in the Finnish universities produces, on average, 5.26 euros in return for the Finnish economy!
Q: In Finland, to be a teacher is a recognized career and well paid, what aspects were the ones that made this happen, and what have been the results?
A: Actually teachers get medium wages in Finland, so it is not the money that attracts the talented young people to become teachers.
Teaching is a respected profession in Finland. All teachers are highly educated (they all have Master’s degree) and they have great autonomy to conduct their work. Teachers are treated as experts in Finnish society.
Because of the high education, respect, trust and autonomy, Finnish teachers are free to perform their job as good as they can, which has brought Finland excellent learning results and high positions in international learning comparisons.
Q: Finland has invested in technology. What transformations have happened in the last decades?
A: There has been huge transformations in Finnish economy from a very undeveloped and agrarian society (Finland in the 1950’s) to an industrialized country (Finland in the 1970-80’s) to a modernized society, where high-tech and IT play a central role in a society (Finland from 1990’s onwards). Lately digitalization, robotics, artificial intelligence etc. have become key drivers in Finnish economy.
Q: What are remarkable projects from the education perspective at the moment?
A: There have been several remarkable trends in Finnish education recently: Digitalization of education is one of the big trends in Finland at the moment. This does not, however, mean that technology is the focus of the education, but rather that it is used as a tool for learning. Learning the necessary skills to act in the digitalised world is the goal.
Also our New ECEC, Pre-primary, Basic Education and Upper Secondary Education Curricula are truly considered the most innovative in the world. They are value-based and set the direction for developing the 21st century skills, responsible citizenship skills and broad-based competences in students of all ages.
The new curricula emphasize phenomenon-based learning alongside with the traditional school subjects. Phenomenon-based and blended learning models are being developed to benefit from digital opportunities in teaching-learning practices. Continuous professional development of teachers has been given lot of attention and support.
School governance and management has moved towards shared leadership model, where all agents of educational process are actively involved and carry their shared responsibility. This is to name just a few!
For Learning Scoop experts our motto has always been ”Sharing is caring”. We thank Business Frequency, Bolivia of this great opportunity to share our experiences!