5-speed listening (Education - Level 6)

Finland to reform education for the digital age



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Finland is not satisfied with constantly being top of the world's education leagues. The government is now planning to reform its education system so that young Finns are better prepared for the digital age. A key part of the proposed reforms is to place as much emphasis on digital and workplace skills as on more traditional subjects. An example of this would be to use 3D printers in history classes so students can create models of ancient buildings. The government also wants to promote vocational training and encourage learning in real-life work settings. Students' performance would be evaluated by a teacher as well as by an official from the company helping the student.

One teacher, Kirsti Lonka, explained why a shift in educational methods was necessary. She said: "Traditionally, learning has been defined as a list of subject matters and facts you need to acquire, such as arithmetic and grammar….But when it comes to real life, our brain is not divided into disciplines in that way. We are thinking in a very holistic way, and when you think about the problems in the world - global crises, migration, the economy, the post-truth era - we haven't really given our children the tools to deal with this inter-cultural world." She added: "I think it is a major mistake if we lead children to believe that the world is simple, and that if they learn certain facts, they are ready to go."

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