Nee, Fins onderwijs schrapt niet “alle vakken”

Ik zag het verhaal de voorbije dagen al een paar keer passeren op Facebook, Finland zou alle vakken afschaffen en vervangen door thema’s en projectwerk.

Klinkt voor veel mensen goed, maar het verhaal is een pak genuanceerder, zoals Pasi Sahlberg (zie de bestseller Finnish Lessons) hier uitlegt.

Eerst en vooral, onderwijs kent ook in Finland een zeer grote autonomie, dus zo een beslissing ligt niet echt bij de overheid:

It is important to underline two fundamental peculiarities of the Finnish education system in order to see the real picture. First, education governance is highly decentralised, giving Finland’s 320 municipalities significant amount of freedom to arrange schooling according to the local circumstances. Central government issues legislation, tops up local funding of schools, and provides a guiding framework for what schools should teach and how.

Second, Finland’s National Curriculum Framework is a loose common standard that steers curriculum planning at the level of the municipalities and their schools. It leaves educators freedom to find the best ways to offer good teaching and learning to all children. Therefore, practices vary from school to school and are often customised to local needs and situations.

Wat in de praktijk opgelegd wordt is dat er minstens een vakoverschrijdend project moet komen per jaar, iets wat vandaag in veel van onze scholen ook al gebeurd:

What will change in 2016 is that all basic schools for seven to 16-year-olds must have at least one extended period of multi-disciplinary, phenomenon-based teaching and learning in their curricula. The length of this period is to be decided by schools themselves. Helsinki, the nation’s capital and largest local school system, has decided to require two such yearly periods that must include all subjects and all students in every school in town.

One school in Helsinki has already arranged teaching in a cross-disciplinary way; other schools will have two or more periods of a few weeks each dedicated to integrated teaching and learning.

In most basic schools in other parts of Finland students will probably have one “project” when they study some of their traditional subjects in a holistic manner. One education chief of a middle-size city in Finland predicted via Twitter that: “the end result of this reform will be 320 local variations of the NCF 2016 and 90% of them look a lot like current situation.”

Wat men wel ook gaat doen is de doelen los van vakken beschrijven, wat trouwens ook in het Vlaamse masterplan staat:

The next big reform taking place in Finland is the introduction of a new National Curriculum Framework (NCF), due to come into effect in August 2016.

It is a binding document that sets the overall goals of schooling, describes the principles of teaching and learning, and provides the guidelines for special education, well-being, support services and student assessment in schools. The concept of “phenomenon-based” teaching – a move away from “subjects” and towards inter-disciplinary topics – will have a central place in the new NCF.

Maar dit is dus niet gelijk aan het schrappen van de vakken.

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