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Monday, October 5, 2015

Early Education in Finland

The Joyful, Illiterate Kindergartners of Finland

Forget the Common Core, Finland’s youngsters are in charge of determining what happens in the classroom.

Tim Walker | October 1, 2015

[...]But Finland—a Nordic nation of 5.5 million people, where I’ve lived and taught fifth and sixth graders over the last two years—appears to be on the other end of the kindergarten spectrum. Before moving to Helsinki, I had heard that most Finnish children start compulsory, government-paid kindergarten—or what Finns call “preschool”—at age 6. And not only that, but I learned through my Finnish mother-in-law—a preschool teacher—that Finland’s kindergartners spend a sizable chunk of each day playing, not filling out worksheets.

Children play at a kindergarten in Finland, on Oct. 15, 2009. Source: 

Finnish schools have received substantial media attention for years now—largely because of the consistently strong performance of its 15-year-olds on international tests like the PISA. But I haven’t seen much coverage on Finland’s youngest students.

<more at; related links: (Finnish Children's Happy Childhood. November 16, 2009) and (Playschools, Kindergartens and Preschools in Finland.)>

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