Why Finland won’t be teaching ‘math’ and ‘history’ anymore

Finland is looking to overhaul its education system and will now focus on more on “topics” and less on subjects, according to The Independent. The Finns are calling this “phenomena” teaching, where students who are on a more academic track might take a course on the European Union, which would combine elements of history, economics and foreign languages. Current plans call for instituting this type of schooling across the country by 2020, according to the report.

What we need now is a different kind of education to prepare people for working life. We therefore have to make the changes in education that are necessary for industry and modern society.

Pasi Silander, Helsinki’s city manager

Finland has served as a model for other countries looking to improve their education systems. Teachers from the United Kingdom have made the trip to study and observe Finnish schools. And Americans who are pushing for educational reform often point to the Finns as a model that encourages students to play as they learn. Students in Finland get 15 minutes of recess in between lessons, and students are not administered standardized tests until they are in high school. The new model, has received some pushback from teachers, since combining subjects in this fashion required teachers to have an extensive knowledge of all subjects they were teaching.