maken zich grote zorgen over nivellerende gemeenschappelijke lagere cyclus
Oxford- Prof. Jennifer Chung publiceerde een uitgebreide
studie over het Fins onderwijs waarin vooral via diepte-interviews gepolst
wordt naar de mening van de leerkrachten, directies, beleidsmakers
( AN INVESTIGATION OF REASONS FOR FINLANDS
SUCCESS IN PISA (University of Oxford 2008).
Het valt op dat de geïnterviewde leraars zich alle grote
zorgen maken over het nivellerend karakter van de gemeenschappelijke lagere
cyclus die de betere leerlingen geen faire kansen en veel te weinig uitdaging
biedt. We citeren even een aantal getuigenissen.
"Many of the teachers mentioned the converse of the great
strength of Finnish education (= de grote aandacht voor kinderen met
leerproblemen) as the great weakness.
Jukka S. (BM) believes that school does not provide enough challenges
for intelligent students: I think my
only concern is that we give lots of support to those pupils who are underachievers,
and we dont give that much to the brightest pupils. I find it a problem, since I think, for the future of a whole nation, those pupils who are
really the stars should be supported, given some more challenges, given some
more difficulty in their exercises and so on.
To not just spend their time here
but to make some effort and have the idea to become something, no matter what
field you are choosing, you must not only be talented like they are, but work
hard. That is needed.
Pia (EL) feels that
the schools do not motivate very intelligent students to work. She thinks the schools should provide more challenges for the academically
talented students. In fact, she
thinks the current school system in Finland does not provide well for its
students. Mixed-ability classrooms, she
feels, are worse than the previous selective system: I think this school is for nobody.
That is my private opinion. Actually I think so, because when you have
all these people at mixed levels in your class, then you have to concentrate on
the ones who need the most help, of course.
Those who are really good, they get lazy.
Pia believes these students become bored and lazy, and float
through school with no study skills.
Jonny (EM) describes how comprehensive education places the academically
gifted at a disadvantage: We have lost a great possibility when we dont have
the segregated levels of math and natural sciences
That should be once again
taken back and started with. The good
talents are now torturing themselves with not very interesting education and teaching in classes that arent for their
Pia (EL) finds the PISA frenzy about Finland amusing, since
she believes the schools have declined in recent years: I think [the
attention] is quite funny because school isnt as good as it used to be
to be proud of being a teacher and proud of this school, but I cant say I m
proud any more.
Aino (BS) states that the evenness and equality of the education
system has a dark side. Teaching to the middle student in a class of
heterogeneous ability bores the gifted students, who commonly do not perform
well in school. Maarit (DMS) finds
teaching heterogeneous classrooms very difficult. She admits that dividing the students into ability
levels would make the teaching easier, but worries that it may affect the self-esteem
of the weaker worse than a more egalitarian system Similarly, Terttu (FMS) thinks that the
class size is a detriment to the students learning. Even though Finnish schools have relatively
small class sizes, she thinks that a group of twenty is too large, since she
does not have time for all of the students: You dont have enough time for everyone
All children have to be in the same class.
That is not so nice. You have the
better pupils. I cant give them as much
as I want. You have to go so slowly in
the classroom. Curiously, Jukka E.
(DL) thinks that the special education students need more support and the
education system needs to improve in that area.
Miikka (FL) describes how he will give extra work to
students who want to have more academic challenges, but admits that they can
get quite good grades, excellent grades, by doing nothing actually, or very
little. Miikka (FL) describes
discussion in educational circles about creating schools and universities for academically
talented students: 3 Everyone has the same chances
One problem is that it can
be too easy for talented students. There has been now discussion in Finland if
there should be schools and universities for talented students
I think it will
happen, but I dont know if it is good, but it will happen, I think so. I am also afraid there will be private
schools again in Finland in the future
[There] will be more rich people and
more poor people, and then will come so [many] problems in comprehensive
schools that some day quite soon
parents will demand that we should have private schools again, and that is quite sad.
Linda (AL), however, feels the love of reading has declined
in the younger generation, as they tend to gravitate more to video games and
television. Miikka (FL), also a teacher
of mother tongue, also cites a decline in reading interest and an increase of
video game and computer play. Saij a
(BL) agrees. As a teacher of Finnish, she feels that she has difficulty motivating
her students to learn: I think my subject is not the
easiest one to teach. They dont read so much, newspapers or
novels. Her students, especially the
boys, do not like their assignments in Finnish language. She also thinks the respect for teachers has
declined in this past generation. Miikka
(FL) also thinks his students do not respect their teachers: They dont
respect the teachers. They respect them
I think it has changed a
lot in recent years. In Helsinki, it was
actually earlier. When I came here six
years ago, I thought this was
heaven. I thought it was incredible,
how the children were like that after
Helsinki, but now I think it is the same.
Linda (AL) notes deficiency in the amount of time available
for subjects. With more time, she would
implement more creative activities, such as speech and drama, into her
lessons. Saij a (BL) also thinks that
her students need more arts subjects like drama and art. She worries that they consider mathematics as
the only important subject. Shefeels
countries such as Sweden, Norway, and England have better arts programs than in
Finnish schools. Arts subjects,
according to Saij a, help the students get to know themselves. Maarit (DMS), a Finnish-speaker, thinks that
schools need to spend more time cultivating social skills.