14.11.2016

Subject teaching in Finnish schools is not being abolished

The news that Finland is abolishing teaching separate subjects has recently been an issue in the international press. Subject teaching is not being abolished although the new core curriculum for basic education brought some changes in August 2016.

The subjects common to all students in basic education are stipulated in the Basic Education Act, and the allocation of lesson hours among school subjects is prescribed in the Decree given by the Government. However, education providers have had a high degree of freedom in implementing nationally set objectives for more than twenty years. They may develop their own innovative methods, which can differ from those in other municipalities.

The new core curriculum for basic education that was implemented in schools in August 2016 contain some changes which might have given rise to the misunderstanding of abolishing separate school subjects. In order to meet the challenges of the future, the focus is on transversal (generic) competences and work across school subjects. Collaborative classroom practices, where pupils may work with several teachers simultaneously during periods of phenomenon-based project studies are emphasised.

The pupils should participate each year in at least one such multidisciplinary learning module. These modules are designed and implemented locally. The core curriculum also states that the pupils should be involved in the planning.

The news that Finland is abolishing teaching separate subjects has recently been an issue in the international press. Subject teaching is not being abolished although the new core curriculum for basic education brought some changes in August 2016.