Finland Education Reform Introduces Phenomenon-Based TeachingBy Chris Brandt, UniversityHerald Reporter
Finland has been the model of what education should be and with good reasons. Its students have scored higher than their peers on international assessment tests. Thanks to the education reforms it has made since the 1970s and now, they are introducing phenomenon-based teaching.
The country has just put its National Curriculum Framework 2016 into effect and along with it, they are rethinking the concept of education and what it means to the children of today. Furthermore, Finland wants to focus on the multidisciplinary approach to education and phenomenon-based education is the way to achieve that.
Phenomenon-based teaching can also be described as problem-based teaching as the learners seek answers to the real-life phenomenon that interests them. Examples of these phenomena include topics on climate change, community, or the European Union. However, it takes problem-solving to a higher level because it does not only focus on one point of view but studies different points of view. As a result, it crosses the boundaries between subjects and brings all subjects and themes together.
As the students go through the learning process, it becomes more authentic because the theories and information they learn provide immediate value to what is already present in the learning situation. One of its goals is to make sure the students are able to apply the information they acquire during the learning situation.
It is based on the philosophy that you cannot drive just by using pen and paper. Thus, it recognizes the fact that the problems and challenges students is and will be facing in life is not based on paper and ink, and students need to learn practical information.
One of the best things about the phenomenon-based teaching is that the students are the ones who initiate the learning process by asking questions about issues and problems they are interested in. Because of this, learning becomes natural and deep, unlike theory or reading where learning is only superficial.