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The watchword is: learn to learn

Aggiornato il: 20 nov 2019

The Teachers were exploring the Finnish school and comparing the two school system (Italian and Finnish ) on their first day at the school of Hämeenkylä (Finland). Here below the article of the experience written by Titti Romio Cristina Faraco Leonardo Gabriele Susanna Capalbo


When we arrived at the School of Hämeenkylä (Finland) we understood that what separates the Italian school from the Finnish one is a world. The teachers who guided us apologize because they welcomed us in what was not a school building but the editorial office of the Finnish daily, Helsingin Sanomat.

The Local Council of Education (equivalent to our department of education) had thus resolved the need to find premises in the meantime that the work on the new building was completed.

The structure, however, was the same futuristic: open space, scattered sofas, very large classrooms able to accommodate many students.

And here the first element of novelty. This school belongs to that Finnish champion (10%) who aggregates students in 50/60 per class. Which was not our classroom, but the Mathematics, History, English, Art Classroom etc. Here the students arrive and, according to the weekly timetable, they give the change to other companions after a certain number of hours. In these classrooms together with the boys, 2 to 3 teachers who were barely perceived as a young universe. Very young, very informal teachers who also got confused because they coordinate, working together with the kids. The frontal lesson almost non-existent left room for a very active work by the boys who used both technological tools but also paper material, etc. In each classroom a space that corresponded to an area for relaxation and for the collaboration of students who needed to work on particular aspects indicated by the teachers.

A characteristic sign of these classrooms was the absence of any noise and shouting. The absence of noise seemed almost surreal.

In quiet Finnish society, a school is a place where every morning, after an initial piece of music, a teacher spreads a motivational message for the students in piped music, remembering their tasks and their responsibilities.

Here, the integration of foreigners has its reason together with that of all students with special educational needs. Being integrated into Finnish society meanwhile attending the same school, in special classrooms, hours and hours of Finnish language. Only after a year, if all goes well, do students attend school regularly according to the national curriculum. Meanwhile, they participate in all planned activities.

While in Italy we still have to agree if inclusion is better than integration, the Finnish school already in the spaces prefigures significant interventions for each student who is the bearer. In this case, there is a teacher for every 10 students with BES who, when needed, move in the same classroom in a space with glass walls to avoid separation with the classroom context.

A system that invests heavily in student autonomy. It is perceived in classrooms where everyone, male and female, attends 3 hours of home economics per week in a kitchen hall Here, in those hours, the kids prepare lunch, turning that space into a restaurant for themselves. It is not a hotel institution that we have visited but a secondary school where they greatly enhance the ability of children to do things themselves for the needs of everyday life. The same meaning is attributed to the workshop where they learn to repair bicycles: means that children use to go to school and that it is useful to know how to repair for any eventuality. In short, a sustainable system that goes far beyond environmental protection and that looks at an integral development.

We think of the same development when we discover that, in this school, boys and girls between 13 and 16 years of age in the art workshop learn to use not only colours but also to work with sewing machines, irons and crochet hooks.

A whole other school ...






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