Finland succeeds with no homework and fewer lessons

The BBC is reporting that parents facing all those kitchen table arguments over homework might wonder about its value if the Finns are getting on just fine without burning the midnight oil.

And how do Finnish youngsters spend less time in school and still come out with some of the best results in the world?

As the OECD think tank says: “One of the most striking facts about Finnish schools is that their students have fewer hours of instruction than students in any other OECD country.”

While children in England and Wales are still toiling away in school into the middle of July, the Finns have already been on holiday for six weeks, in a summer break that lasts 10 to 11 weeks.

And completing this picture of less is more, Finnish children do not in theory have to start school until they are seven – although most will have been in classes from an earlier age.

But when it comes to the international Pisa tests, Finland is in sixth place and the UK is 23rd in reading; and Finland is 12th and the UK is 26th in maths. 

More at: Finland succeeds with no homework and fewer lessons

What do you think the main difference is between the UK and Finland that has caused our results to be so different? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie

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  1. As a parent with a child in school in Finland, I can assure readers that kids here DO get homework. My son has friends who attend 3 other schools, and they all get homework too. It’s less homework than I was used to, but it’s homework nonetheless. Last night’s work took around an hour, which is double the average he gets, because he had to prepare for a test today.

  2. They succeed because they use evidence-based methods.  For instance: we designate 3-5% as having specific ‘learning difficulties’ and leave the 40% who struggle with no extra help.
    Finland does not label students (evidence based) and simply identifies anyone struggling and provides support.(evidence based) 35% of students are in support fort something.
    We can do this too!

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