Finland has a history of producing the highest global test scores in the Western world, as well as a trophy case full of other recent No. 1 global rankings, including most literate nation.
In Finland, children don’t receive formal academic training until the age of 7. Until then, many are in day-care and learn through play, songs, games and conversation.
Most children walk or bike to school, even the youngest. School hours are short and homework is generally light. … school children in Finland have a mandatory 15-minute outdoor free-play break every hour of every day. Fresh air, nature and regular physical activity breaks are considered engines of learning.
One evening, I asked my son what he did for gym that day. “They sent us into the woods with a map and compass and we had to find our way out,” he said.
In Finland teachers are the most trusted and admired professionals next to doctors. “Our mission as adults is to protect our children from politicians,” one Finnish childhood education professor told me. “We also have an ethical and moral responsibility to tell businesspeople to stay out of our building.”
William Doyle is a 2015-16 Fulbright scholar and a lecturer on media and education at the University of Eastern Finland. Los Angeles Times. March 18, 2016