Helsinki-born HundrED is a global, non-profit project building a vision of education for the next 100 years. The first 75 experiments are being trialled in schools across Finland. Joining these innovations are 100 interviews with global thought leaders, aiming to discover the ways in which education needs to change to prepare children for a rapidly changing world...
In an interview with HundrED, Anneli Rautianen, head of department for Basic and Early Childhood Education at the Finnish National Board of Education, discusses what she believes the purpose of schools are and how we should be preparing young people for the future...
It is very important that students are equipped with 21st century skills. We cannot anticipate what kind of occupations they will go into, and in many cases they may even employ themselves.
It is important to learn skills like cooperation, civics and communication in school, and it is good to ask whether we are actually teaching these skills or not. The meaning of motivation is also important - how do we organise learning so that we ensure our students have a passion and excitement for learning without handing it straight out to them?
At the moment, we want our amazing and talented teachers to challenge their own expertise, we want them to examine the roles of teachers and students. Traditionally we have implemented teacher-led learning, but now we are hoping to adjust our focus to a more student-centered model.
The goal of our education system is for it to be equal for everyone and this is fulfilled to some extent, but we do face a few challenges. One of the advantages in our system is that everyone has the possibility of succeeding and moving forward in their life, however I am a bit concerned that some high school students have to wait a long time before they can continue on to post-graduate studies. This is something we should pay more attention to.
Learning environments should support learning, which happens everywhere, so children should have the possibility of choosing where they learn the best. One child might learn best in the school playground alone, while someone else might learn better working with a friend in the classroom.
Learning environments should also activate all kinds of learners and motivate children so that they want to learn. You should be able to adjust the learning space depending on the day and the subject you are learning about. In my opinion digitalisation should be implemented in everything. I don't think that we can continue to make progress without embracing digitalisation as a part of learning or teaching.
I believe that when you are supported and valued, everything works out better. Every child deserves to be treated with appreciation as well as supported in what they are good at, but they also need to have awareness of what their areas for improvement are.
The purpose of school is to ensure that every child has the possibility of having a great future. This is achieved when each child reaches his/her full potential in learning and well-being so that they can flourish and grow into the kind of adults that they want to become.
To read Anneli's full interview, visit the HundrED website