The Finnish Education System in Focus

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Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 12, 2018
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

During the last decade, Finland has received attention internationally due to its students’ high educational outcomes in international student assessments like PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS. A fundamental principle in the Finnish education system is equal access to high quality education for all citizens on all levels of the education system. Also,education in Finland is publicly funded and principally free of charge at all levels (Suomen perustuslaki, 1999; Basic Education Act, 1998). Although Finland is known as a country with particularly equal learning outcomes among students and schools, there is also evidence that the equality is severely challenged by the growing differentiation trends on many levels. I will start my talk by framing the Finnish education system and highlighting the similarities and differences with the education system in the United States. I then turn the focus towards international assessment results and to regional differences and national challenges. I will present some of our latest assessment results from the Finnish PISA-team concerning students with an immigrant background and areal inequalities.