Education Changes: Finland Will Become the First Country in the World With the Phenomenon-Based Learning by 2020?

Everything changes and evolves except education. Today we are in an era of technology in which we can access endless information. Yet, the educational system still expects us to learn everything from books even though it may not serve us in our future lives and professional development.

Probably, there have been a lot of times when we have wondered whether the subjects we learn at school will serve us. So, it is time for a change! The first country that has brought a decision to change their educational system and make it suitable for the 21st century is Finland.

This Scandinavian country is going to introduce a new way of learning that does not include classes in math, physics, history, geography, literature, etc. Finland is going to use phenomenon based learning by 2020. (1)

According to the Phenomenal Education website, the PhenoBL and teaching offer an approach in which studying would be through real-world phenomena which are studied as complete entities. (2)

Also, the skills, as well as the information related to the phenomena, are studied by passing over the boundaries between subjects. So, what does this mean?

Well, instead of learning physics only because you need to learn it, the students would have a chance to choose real-world phenomena, like EU, or Media and Technology.

An interdisciplinary approach will be used to study these phenomena, and there will be subjects that contribute to achieving the best in the topic. For instance, if a student wants to study the vocational course they can take services in a cafeteria.

So, the phenomenon will be studied with the help of languages, math, writing, as well as communication skills. One more example is the EU which involves geography, history of the European countries, economics, and languages.

When you take your profession as an example and think about the things you need to know, you are thinking in the phenomena based learning way.

Furthermore, the learning process will involve face-to-face as well as online sessions, and the emphasis would be on the advantages of the technology and the Internet.

The students will be able to work together with their teachers and peers by sharing information, as well as to explore and to utilize new information as a building tool.

New Teaching Style

The traditional way of learning by listening to the teacher and recording every instruction given by them is going to change to a holistic way. So, all phenomena will be approached most conveniently and naturally.

Anyway, as reported by Phenomenal Learning, the constructivism is the base of phenomenal-based teaching. Students are considered as active knowledge builders, and as a result of finding solutions to the problems, information is obtained.

The collaborative setting, for example, teamwork, is what this educational system offers. They would like the information to be formed in a social context, not as an internal element of an individual.

It is going to support problem-solution, inquiry-based, as well as portfolio and project learning. To see the result of the whole process, there will be practical implementation as a final step.

Since this change requires an excellent collaboration between teachers of various subjects, teachers are already undergoing a strenuous training.

About 70 percent of the teachers in Helsinki are now involved in the training about the new educational system. In fact, co-teaching is very important for the creation of the curriculum, so one subject professional and teachers who accept this new way of teaching will get a salary increase as a sign of appreciation.

Teachers see this new style as rewarding and valuable for them too. Those teachers that have already used this style of teaching say they cannot return to the old one. Well, this is not a surprise because teachers have always dreamt about this kind of teaching.

Now, at least once a year, every school in Finland is obliged to introduce a period of PhenoBL. They have a plan to implement the phenomena-based learning by the year of 2020 completely.

Also, there is a similar approach that is being used in the pre-school sector. It is named the Playful Learning Centre and is going to be the beginning point for the further PhenoBL. (3)

Well, it was about time for the education to change! Maybe other countries should consider this approach as well.