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Ariadne Pfad:

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Fact-checking: Has Finland abolished subject teaching in schools?

A picture summary of the presentations of leading educationalists from Finland on a conference in South Africa in 2017. You can see different persons with speech bubbles containing their most important statements.
A picture summary of the presentations of leading educationalists from Finland on a conference in South Africa in 2017 ((bigger version of the picture)

The short answer is: No!

If you want to know why, please go on reading.

Since around 2015, various media around the world have repeatedly reported that Finland was about to abolish school subjects. Obviously the first to report this was the British journal The Independent, and many others followed:

 

So what is the story behind this news report?

The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture meanwhile even has an FAQ for this question:

"Is there still subject teaching in Finnish schools?

The news that Finland has abolished teaching separate subjects has been an issue in the international press. Subject teaching is not being abolished although the new core curriculum for basic education brought some changes in August 2016." (Source: Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture / FAQ)

 

And in a somewhat longer article, the ministry goes on explaining:

"The new core curriculum for basic education that will be implemented in school in August 2016 contain some changes which might have given rise to the misunderstanding. In order to meet the challenges of the future, the focus is on transversal (generic) competences and work across school subjects. Collaborative classroom practices, where pupils may work with several teachers simultaneously during periods of phenomenon-based project studies are emphasised.
The pupils should participate each year in at least one such multidisciplinary learning module."
(Source: Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture / Current issues / "Subject teaching in Finnish schools is not being abolished", 25.03.2015, page taken from the webarchive, bold text: Education Worldwide)

 

And Maya Kaul provides a very good summary of the issue in her blog article   "Demystifying the Finnish Education System, Part II: Is Finland abolishing school subjects?"   (Voices in Education, 26.04.2018):

"Therefore, Finland is introducing new multidisciplinary curriculum that is focused on bridging barriers between traditionally defined “school subjects,” but Finland is not getting rid of the enterprise of school subjects altogether, at least not in the near future." (bold text: Education Worldwide, cursiv text: the author)

 

Further Information:

**About the Core Curriculum for Basic Education 2016**

 

**Articles that correct the claim about the Finnish school subjects' abolition**

Last Update: 06.02.2020  -  N. Cohen ;

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