Monday, 16 November 2009

Finnish perceptions of PISA Success: Previous Research, Part Nine - Comprehensive School

The comprehensive school of Finland, which has roots in the Nordic principle of equality, also influences the Finnish PISA outcomes.  The comprehensive school has many features that provide a supportive environment for all students, regardless of academic talent.

The comprehensive school provides a good foundation for the education system, with philosophy of equity, support of students through heterogeneous grouping, special education, individual attention, and inclusion.  The comprehensive school allows all students to attend the same school with their peers, despite any difficulties the students may have.  

Nearly all students attend the comprehensive school until the age of sixteen, but the school will adapt to each child's needs.  The schools use teacher-planned curriculum for a student-centered, inclusive environment.  The ethos of inclusion allows for vast support for weaker students through a very developed special education program.  

The comprehensive school, a non-selective school, calls for support for those with difficulties.  Only 2% of students need to repeat a grade and only 0.5% of students fail to earn a comprehensive school degree.  

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