Sunday, September 25, 2011

Education in Finland and Sweden

The lecture on education in Finland and Sweden is my favorite lecture so far. I was able to relate to a lot of what was being talked about and to compare my four years of school in Sweden as well. Having attended both Swedish and American schools, I can say that the Swedish schools were my favorite by far. I only attended school there until 4th grade, but when I visited last October, I attended school for a few days again, and still the Swedish schools were my favorite.

The school system, both in Finland and Sweden, is so different from ours, yet I believe is so much better. I started kindergarten as I was about to turn 7, and at that point I knew absolutely no Swedish, and obviously could not read either. The teachers were only concerned with getting me to speak, and I did not start reading at all until 1st grade. In kindergarten, we played outside a lot, spent a lot of time drawing and painting and sewing, and spent a lot of time just playing with the other kids. I think that because of this, the Swedes develop better social skills at a younger age, because a part of school there was learning how to be social. There are so many other differences, the hot lunch there was so much better, classes were fun and interesting. During my time in school, I don't remember being graded or worrying about grades once, but once we moved back to the States, I remember my sister in 2nd grade worrying about grades on book reports. The school system, at least in Sweden, is more laid back, and I think that at a young age, children are generally excited to learn and excited to go to school and are not burning out as fast as American students.

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