The success story of the Finnish school system attracts international interest. In Finland, the current focus is on how teachers could find a balance between retaining all the benefits from the past efforts to develop education, while at the same time keeping up with the times and the changing world.
The school of the future is a major theme at SuomiAreena, the largest public debate forum organised in Finland in the summer. The coastal town of Pori is the venue of this week-long event that brings together a large crowd of Finnish policy makers including politicians, journalists and researchers, as well as leaders of civic organisations and innovators from the business world.
Digital learning and other educational innovations
In its role as the educator of future teachers, the University of Helsinki has much to say about the future of teaching, especially because many researchers in the field of education and psychology are preoccupied with visions of the school of the future.
The University of Helsinki has placed two mobile learning facilities in the Pori market square where the audience can participate in workshops or discuss with researchers in short, themed debates. The University’s experts are also participating in the main panel discussions of SuomiAreena, and their views on learning have been published in a magazine called New Roads to Learning.
Researchers and their partners in the debates – decision-makers and journalists – envisage optimal learning in the future, and how it is manifested at school: Can one learn through play? What does digital learning mean and why are state-of-the-art computers not enough to guarantee successful digital learning? Will the schools of 2025 prepare children for life as well as present-day schools do? How can we spark pupils’ interest and why should teachers take school children out of the school building from time to time?