Finse prof. Jukka Sarjala over
problemen in de comprehensieve lagere cyclus s.o. in Finland: te grote
verschillen tussen leerlingen; veel
gedragsproblemen , minder interesse voor lerarenberoep
Vooraf: de voorbije jaren stelden de Vlaamse pleitbezorgers van een
gemeenschappelijke/comprehensieve eerste graad Finland voor als een modelland
inzake comprehensief onderwijs en brede eerste graad. De vele berichten over de problemen met die
comprehensieve lagere cyclus werden weggemoffeld. In voorliggende bijdrage
schetst de Finse onderwijskundige Kukka Sarjala eens te meer de problemen met
een gemeenschappelijke lagere cyclus. In andere bijdragen wordt gewezen op het
feit dat Finland voor b.v. PISA heel weinig toppers telt veel minder dan
Vlaanderen en dat dit een gevolg is van de gemeenschappelijke lagere cyclus.
Jukka Sarjala: Problems
in the Comprehensive School
1. What Were Our Objectives
In Finland, we had a sweeping school reform in
the 1970s. The reform was not easy, for political parties, researchers, and teachers
disagreed on whether the new school was any better than the existing one. Those
opposed to the reform felt that with the existing education system we could already
reach the objectives which the ones in favour of the reform were striving for.
For one hundred years, we had a parallel school
system in child and youth education. In that system, children attended a
uniform school for the first four years. After the fourth year (na vierde
leerjaar) they were then divided between two different streams of schooling.
The streams were quite different from each other as far as their duration,
subjects and opportunities for furthere ducation wereconcerned. The popularity
of the more extensive stream, which offered theoretical subjects, began to grow
in the 1950s because it afforded a chance for the person to advance socially.
There were several shortcomings
in the old system:
1. Schools which offered a better chance for social
advancement were not equally distributed in the country. The school system was
unjust because children did not have equal opportunities for social advancement
througheducation. ( De leerlingen
werden al na het vierde leerjaar lager onderwijs opgesplitst cf. Duitsland.
Men vond dat terecht te vroeg. In een
land met een lage bevolkingsdichtheid is het echter moeilijker om te differentiëren in eerste
graads.o.. Vlaanderen kan zich die luxe permitteren en kan dus in de eerste
graad ook technische opties aanbieden.)
2. The general education of the populace showed
great differences. People clamoured for raising the level of education, but
there was no agreement on having two types of streams in basic education. There
were no reasonable grounds for determining how big a portion of the agegroup
was to be sent to schools which offered either a more extensive or more limited
basic education. This formula varied randomly from place to place.
2. How Was the Reform
The government and parliament decided that every
school-age child had to be offered a chance to attend a nine-year school ( van
7 tot 16 jaar). The curriculum of this new school was more or less the same for
everyone; among other things, everyone had to study one foreign language and
the second national language of the country.
The main problem of the new school was: how to teach
an entire agegroup in the same school, in the same class. In the planning
stages of the reform, people said that slow-learners would dangerously lag
behind; on the other hand, the school could be too easy for talented children.
In Finland, it is the municipalities that are
responsible for arranging basic education.
3. Problems of the Comprehensive School
3.1 Te grote
niveauverschillen en te weinig centen voor kleine niveauklassen
The originalproblem still exists. Especially in
the uppercomprehensive school (=lagere cyclus s.o.) teachers are faced with students
with different learningabilities. Every student should receive instruction
at the level of his skills, but that requires small teaching groups (in Finland
probeerde men ook met niveauklassen te werken, maar als er in de vele
landelijke gebieden maar een 30 à 50
leerlingen zijn per jaar is dit moeilijk haalbaar).
In the past few years, the economic situation
of the municipalities has worsened. Some of the municipalities have been forced
to cut their education budgets. This has led to increasing the nurses, school
psychologists. There are too few officers who are supposed to help the student salong.
There have been cuts in the funding for teaching materials and supplies.
discipline en leermotivatie bij de leerlingen
Many teachers say that in their teaching
career, students have become more and more negative. Children are more restless
and more self-centered; they are notso persistent in their work any more.
Students have become polarized: a great majority of the students are doing better
than ever before; on the other hand, there is a growing group of students who
do not fare so well.
Family problems have increased: among other things,
unemployment, mental disorders, alcoholism, broken families. Competition in the
labour market has increased and parents have less and less time for their children.
Children bring the family problems to school.
3.3 Lesgeven is minder aantrekkelijk geworden. Minder interesse voor
The relations between the home and the school
are not optimal in every case. A number of teachers are facing difficulties because
some parents behave aggressively. Some teachers have been threatened with litigation
on the grounds that they have given too poor grades to the students.
Many of the problems in the comprehensive
school stem from the problems of society. Schools do not get enough resources;
the economic differences between municipalities have a bearing on the school
Up to now, teaching has been anattractive profession,
and we have been able to select candidates for teacher training from a large
number of applicants. Just recently, we have heard, though, that a number of
teachers would like to change jobs. This is a rather disheartening scenario for
the Finnish education system.