This research is focused on the most viable solutions that Ecuador has to improve its educational system, based on certain characteristics and key factors of the best education system in the world that is Finnish according to the TEST PISA (2012). The three most feasible alternatives that can lead the Ecuadorian educational system to rise in the ranking of education worldwide. The possible solutions are: first, teachers will be more qualified, and thus incorporate more dynamic techniques; Second, small classes will allow for personalized learning; And third, students will develop language and artistic skills from an early age. Ecuadorians would be the ones who would benefit most, since a good quality education implies that the student has a good academic level at the regional level, therefore implies that he will be able to perform optimally in the future and in that way to help in the academic development of the country.
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How Would Ecuador Benefit From Adopting Finland’s Education System?
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. (Benjamin Franklin, n.d), education system in Ecuador is not at higher level at regional level, much less at worldwide level, the Ecuadorian system is based in memorization and huge amounts of tests, making the classes boring for the students, moreover as Susan Segal (2016) said, the education system in Latin America is antiquated and uses a defective model. as a result, students are suffering the consequences; the Latin American students do not receive a quality education, and they achieve the minimum level of learning as shown by the results of the 2012 PISA TEST (para. 1).
Ecuador need to change the system education, Ecuador need to focus and start from the bottom, this means that Ecuador need to start the change with the lowest level, from kinder garden, the children need to develop new skills related with creativity and team work, with these skills they will start to add great learning fundamentals, this will help them in their path of knowledge until their adulthood.
The best way to try a change is adopting the Finland education system, which is the number 1 according 2012 PISA TEST. Because the Finnish education system is the number 1 all around the world, society thinks that their system education is strict, tedious and even boring for their students. However, the reality is the opposite, according to Dr. Tony Wagner from “The Finland Phenomenon“, children develop a certain kind of passion for learning and the reason is the environment, a safety, lovely and full of confidence environment between students, teachers, parents and government create the perfect environment for learn (Compton, 2011). Ecuadorian students can benefit from adopting Finland’s education system in three ways: first, teachers will be more qualified, and thus incorporate more dynamic techniques; second, small classes will allow for personalized learning; and third, students will develop language and artistic skills from an early age.
First of all, one of the greatest characteristic that Ecuador need to adopt form Finnish education system is lead to teach only hiring professionals qualified with a master’s degree; according to William Doyle (2016), the minimum request for being a teacher in Finland is having a master’s degree in education, in preference with specialization in research and classroom practice (para. 13).
Teachers with higher degree of education greater number of knowledge, this is basically a fact. Due to teachers have a master’s degree they know how to treat with their students, teachers can design and choose an ideal model of learning for their students with the final purpose to make easier the understanding of the knowledge imparted towards the students. The fact that teachers have a master’s degree in education makes it possible for them to find the simplest, most dynamic and ideal way to get students to improve the way they absorb knowledge.
Teachers besides of been fundamental is the educational aspect they are also fundamental in the emotional aspect. According to Edutopia Team (2005), one important role that teachers have is to coach a guide their students through their educative journey; teachers can manage the time reducing the lecturing time in classes for adding more time to mentoring them. (para. 8). Teachers can support to their students giving to them motivation for learning, for example putting an exercise and the first 3 students will have extra points, or giving candies for each question well attended. Having better academic preparation the teacher will be better able to adapt to the student and develop better learning methods.
Second of all, A normal classroom in Ecuador is between 30 to 50 students, this fact makes to teachers more difficult to take control of the class in every aspect, as the behavior of the students or having enough time to address the doubts of all students. Meanwhile, in Finland the maximum capacity is around 20 students per each classroom, this characteristic can solve in an efficient way the problems previously mentioned. Also, a main idea is implement technological resources such as electronic devices as tools for teachers and students with the objective of develop the academic performance.
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It is a logical fact all around the world that while lower number of students in a classroom, higher quality of learning; how is this possible? Well, according to OCDE, “There is a general perception thatâ€¦ the size of the class, understood as such, could be seen as an indicator of the quality of the education system.” (Education Indicators in Focus, 2012).
Third of all, the Finnish educational system has a solid base from the start of education in their youngest students, it means their kindergarten students develop many skills and habits for learning and behavior in-and-outside the class. Ecuador need change from the bottom of the academic pyramid. Starting with a whole change in the educational system with kindergarten students. Also, implementing the learning-through-play-based preschools and kindergartens.
Ecuador can restructure the methodologies and contents of children’s centers throughout the country. After the process of restructuring Ecuador will be ready for a future with a solid educational structure that will allow a change with respect to the new generation to the previous generations, would be an educational revolution that has as a protagonist the kindergarten children as Finnish educational system. Besides the restructuration of the educational system, the other necessary change in Ecuador would be education of quality for everyone, it means that whoever can receive education independent from the economic or social situation.
The final step of the restructuring in the educational system is to provide kindergarten students with skills and habits oriented and related to the educational world. According to William Doyle (2016), children in Finnish schools not only receive basic knowledge in math, language and science. Finnish children through learning-through-play-based preschools and kindergartens, this method is used to teach second languages, arts, physic education, ethics, between others. This kind of learning is necessary because children will be able to develop concentration and cognitive focus (para.21). These fundaments will allow to students an academic progress through their educational journey.
In Summary, if well the educational system of Ecuador is not the worst all around the world, is one of the worst a Latin American level. Is for this reason that the Ecuadorian educational system need to change. Due to Finnish educational system is the number one worldwide, the most recommendable option is adopting fundamental principles and characteristics from Finnish educational system that allow it to be the best in the world. In this way, we can change the future of Ecuador.
What Ecuador can adopt from the educational system of Finland are: master degree teachers, more qualified teachers will incorporate more dynamic techniques and better methods to improve the education. Also, developing arts and science skills in an early age with learning-through-play-based preschools and kindergartens will allow develop concentration and cognitive focus. Finally reducing the number of students per class and adding technological tools as personalized platforms where teachers and students can interact between them and the use of applications developed to teach, for example Duolingo that teach english. In this way with this options Ecuador can change in the educational field for better.
- Education system of Finland. (2013, 25 June). [Documentary]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnRb_PtpN7I
- Segal, S. (2016, May 20). The case for disruption in Latin America’s classrooms.
- Mecd.gob.es. (2016). Citar un sitio web – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: http://www.mecd.gob.es/dctm/inee/indicator-in-focus/edif-2012–n9-esp.pdf?documentId=0901e72b814703c2 [Accessed 19 Dec. 2016].
- Edutopia. (2016). Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education. [online] Available at: https://www.edutopia.org/big-ideas-better-schools [Accessed 19 Dec. 2016].
- The Hechinger Report. (2016). How Finland broke every rule – and created a top school system – The Hechinger Report. [online] Available at: http://hechingerreport.org/how-finland-broke-every-rule-and-created-a-top-school-system/ [Accessed 19 Dec. 2016].
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