|Submitted by admin on Sun, 10/17/2010 - 19:10|
In reading, the Finnish students under the 15-year-olds did best in a global comparison.In mathematics and science they also ranked higher than students of any other European country.
A methodological superiority of Finnish teachers hardly serves as an explanation for the demonstrated higher effectiveness of teaching by PISA. Rather, the conditions under which teachers work in Finland, are better than for example in Germany. So, the lessons in Finnish schools are exclusively provided for teaching. While German teachers are also responsible for a lot of things that have nothing or very little to do with teaching, teachers in Finland only have to do their actual job: teaching. For all further tasks others are responsible.
The Finnish system also intends for teachers with large classes, i.e. with classes of more than 20 students, that they are not alone in their classrooms. More specifically: An Assistant works with students who are in need of a more intensive care than the rest of the class. From classroom teachers it is not expected that they fulfill the needs of all the students and even specialist subject teachers who usually teach smaller classes with up to 15 students, do not see it as their task to make the lessons in a way that the last one can follow. At a class size of 15 students no assistant is available, but overwhelmed children receive some kind of special training.
Whenever a child shows poor performance, a special teacher is consulted in order to guarantee the keep up of each student. Every school has at least one special teacher, in larger schools there are several. Special teachers are characterized by the fact that they, in addition to their normal class teacher training, do a special study and therefore have learn-diacritic and therapeutic skills. According to the National Board of Education, every year about 16-17 percent of all Finnish students receive a special instruction that is to be continued until the child can understand the class lessons again.
For this reason, in Finland there is no market for commercially operated tutoring because the school itself is responsible for ensuring that all children and young people learn the basic tasks. The use of specialist teachers ensures that the weak students can be supported and encouraged and for this reason the proportion of Finnish students that have to repeat a school-year is only about 0.6 percent per year.
Nowadays, a single teacher cannot fulfill the needs of all children in the classroom, even if he or she is ever so methodically competent.
Comparing the Finnish with the German school system, we must come to the conclusion that Germany does not need comprehensive schools with heterogeneous classes, but a system of support following the lead of the Finnish design. In each primary school a special teacher with diagnostic and methodical skills should be available. In addition, a psychological counseling should be provided at each primary school and school social workers should also be available.