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Name: Mariyam Rifna Student ID: 7411
Course: Masters of Education Year/Sem Enrolled: 2018 (January)
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Assignment Title COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM (INTERMS OF ITS EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY) IN THE MALDIVES AND FINLAND
Assignment Submission Due Date 30th April 2018
Assignment Submission Date/ Time 30th April 2018
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Mandhu College | RahdhebaiHin’gun | Mahchangoalhi | Malé | Rep. of Maldives
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The Finnish education system consists of the following: 4
ANALYSIS OF EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY/PHILOSOPHIES 6
COMPARING AND CONTRASTING (THE EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHIES OF THE 2 COUNTRIES) 8
THE LEARNINGS FROM THE FINNISH EDUCATION SYSTEM AND ADAPTATION IN MALDIVIAN SCHOOLS 12
RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION 13
COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM (INTERMS OF IT’S EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY) IN THE MALDIVES AND FINLAND
It is based on the comparative study of education system in Maldives and Finland. From the studies, It will be analyzing both education system by finding the similarities and differences. Moreover, from the research there will be justification based on the philosophies of education and what can be adapted easily in Maldivian education system from Finland education system.
In Maldives, education has had a long history starting with the traditional, home-based teaching of Dhivehi, the Arabic script, and the Holy Quran in home-based centers known as the edhuruge or kiyavaage. Since the early part of the twentieth century, government schools for boys and later for girls were created in Male and by mid-century in each inhabited atoll. These schools, called maktabs maintained the traditional curriculum along with mathematics. In the 1960s the introduction of English medium schools by the government had the effect of referring traditional education to a second-class status. Since 1978, the government has followed a combined education policy by establishing two government schools, Atoll Education Centers and an Atoll School in each atoll and a policy of fair distribution of facilities and resources all over the country. These schools are also amalgamated by a common curriculum for grades 1 to 7, in keeping with the national main concern of providing universal basic education. (Anon., n.d.)
The National Curriculum is based on essential principles within an Islamic framework. These principles, derived after several stages of meetings, encompass democracy, equity, nationalism, independence, innovation for development and strengthening of the Maldivian society. Based on these fundamental principles, the MOE, in consultation with the National Education Council (NEC), produces national objectives for the education sector. (Abdul Muhsin Mohamed, Maryam Azra Ahmed, n.d.)
Education is one of the bases of the Finnish welfare society. They self-importance themselves on an educational system that offers equal opportunities of education for all, unrelatedly of matters of residency, sex, economic situation or linguistic and cultural background. (Jarvenpaa, n.d.)
The Finnish education system consists of the following:
• Early childhood education and care (voluntary)
• Pre-primary education (1 year, compulsory)
• Basic education (9 years, compulsory)
• Upper secondary education, vocational and/or general education (3-4 years)
• Higher education in universities and universities of applied sciences (UAS) (Jarvenpaa, n.d.)
As part of the national directing system of basic education, the design of the curriculum defines and frames the content and pedagogy in basic education. When designing curricula, choices have to be made between the different elements. The essential difference in curriculum design is the relationship between aims and content. This relationship outlines the curriculum as a whole. From a historical perspective, the essence of the Finnish curriculum can be traced to two very different educational schools, much like the curricula of other Nordic countries and firstly, the Finnish curriculum owes much to German education and the so-called Herbart-approach. This school of thought with its concept of “Lehrplan” was introduced into Finnish discussion in the early 1930s The Herbart school focused on content as the centre of teaching and learning, which led to a subject-based approach to education. Secondly the North American school of thought affected the Finnish curriculum in the 1960s by bringing Dewey and his concept of curriculum into the Finnish educational literature. This view of curriculum stated that the curriculum should be organized around more child centered and comprehensive goals, and mere subject matter could not be the center of learning when organizing the learning experiences of younger children. (Erja Vitikka, Leena Krokfors & Elisa Hurmerinta, 2012)
The academic year in Finland is broken into two semesters: autumn and spring. The autumn semester starts at the end of August, and finishes just ahead of the Christmas holiday. Spring semester then begins in the first couple of weeks of January, and continues through May. (Korhonen, 2017)
ANALYSIS OF EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY/PHILOSOPHIES
Behind every school and every teacher is a set of related beliefs a philosophy of education that influences what and how students are taught. A philosophy of education represents answers to questions about the purpose of schooling, a teacher’s role, and what should be taught and by what methods. (Anon., n.d.)
Understanding the philosophies of education is essential for educators who want to monitor the further growth of the teaching field. These and other principles are important aspects of learning a Master of Science in Educational Theory and Practice. Teachers who wish to lead both in the classroom and in their areas will need a strong foundation in the principles behind contemporary education. Advanced degrees provide excellent opportunities to build these foundations. (Anon., n.d.)
Within the epistemological frame that focuses on the nature of knowledge and how we come to know, there are four major educational philosophies, each related to one or more of the general or world philosophies just discussed. These educational philosophical approaches are currently used in classrooms. They are Perennialism, Essentialism, progressivism and reconstructionism. These education philosophies focus heavily on what we should teach the curriculum aspect. (Anon., n.d.)
Essentialism refers to the “traditional” or “Back to the Basics” approach to education. It is so named because it strives to instill students with the “essentials” of academic knowledge and character development. The term essentialism as an educational philosophy was originally popularized in the 1930s by the American educator William Bagley. The philosophy itself, however, had been the dominant approach to education in America from the beginnings of American history. Early in the twentieth century, essentialism was criticized as being too rigid to prepare students adequately for adult life. But with the launching of Sputnik in 1957, interest in essentialism revived. Among modern supporters of this position are members of the President’s Commission on Excellence in Education. In both Finland and Maldives curriculum, practicing of essentialism is declined because they believe that education is more than the academic knowledge and character development. Now students were learning the skills for the betterment of their future. (Anon., n.d.)
John Watson is known as the founder of the behavioral movement. His belief was that any human being could be reprogrammed to acquire any skill. This theory was backed up by the experiments of both Ivan Pavlov and B.F. Skinner. Pavlov trained dogs to respond to different stimuli. Skinner created a learning machine that would use operant conditioning to train students to learn. Through experimentation, these psychologists realized that they could both recondition and condition the responses of their subjects. (Anon., n.d.)
According to behaviorism we can teach our students by reprogramming them. It is possible to change students’ behavior by reconditioning them. This may be done by taking the negative stimuli away from the student. In time the student learns to control the behavior. It is highly implemented philosophy in Maldives education system. The behaviorism approach also states that the student can be condition to learn or perform anything taught to them. This can be done by using rewards for an appropriate response. Both of these methods can be effective when used over a long period of time. (Anon., n.d.)
In today’s society behaviorism approaches can be found in all forms of education. It may be used to change negative behavior. The student may not earn a point for that day if they use an inappropriate manner. On the other hand a teacher may reward the class with stickers for doing a good job. In our present school systems this method is used quite often for behavioral modifications, and motivating children of special needs. Realistically, a teacher cannot totally reprogram a student. This would be an idealistic world if we could reprogram the students to grow up to be perfect individuals. (Anon., n.d.)
We may discover certain common principles amid the variety of progressive schools now existing. To imposition from above is opposed expression and cultivation of individuality; to external discipline is opposed free activity; to learning from texts and teachers, learning through experience; to acquisition of’ isolated skills and techniques by drill is opposed acquisition of them as means of attaining ends which make direct vital appeal; to preparation for a more or less remote future is opposed making the most of the opportunities of present life; to statistics and materials is opposed acquaintance with a changing world. (Morgan, 2014)
COMPARING AND CONTRASTING (THE EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHIES OF THE 2 COUNTRIES)
When looking into similarities we can identify that, in our Maldivian curriculum is adding more features of Finland education system. One of the similarities is that both education systems is highly focus on preparing students for their life. It is the vision of Maldives curriculum. It is more than the content based learning. We have to make sure the students were practically implementing what they were learning in the classroom. (Jarvenpaa, n.d.)
Moreover, both education systems are based on the student-centered learning than the teacher-centered learning. Teachers were guiding the students and they have to take responsibility for their own learning. Students were providing the chance to explore different learning strategies inside the classroom. (Jarvenpaa, n.d.)
One of the approach in Finland is that not giving homework to the students. In Maldives education system also highly emphasis on not to give home work to the students. According to the new curriculum educators are forcing the teachers to implement these changes to our education system. (Morgan, 2014)
Phenomenon-based learning is also one of the approach which is included in Finland education system. It is about getting students to take charge of their own learning (Morgan, 2014). Instead of just learning the content knowledge from their teachers, students are trained to be intellectually curious to create their own understanding of a topic. Now, in Maldives curriculum it is also highly implemented. Chances were provided to the students to take their own responsibilities towards learning. Very recently one new policy was introduced based on the feedback meeting named “Student led conference”. By this policy students were given the chance to analyse their learning and critically think of what they can do to improve their learning and like Finland approach they will be intellectually very curious about their learning. Moreover, it helps to improve the communication skill of the students.
According to both Finland and Maldives, it is a highly emphasis on active learning. Students were learning most of the things by doing in the class. Now here in Maldives many of the lessons were based on visiting the field trips and by watching what is going on. For example, when students were learning sole trader in business studies there are activities to do by visiting a local shop in their island and visiting to the factory to learn about the different types of the production process. (Emmi, Eriikka, 2012)
Like Finland Maldives schools also having less exams according to the new national curriculum. Students were doing standard exams when they go to grade 9. The Cambridge Olevel Examination syllabus is following from grade 9 onwards. Key stage 1, 2 and three students were assessing as assessment for learning approach. Moreover students in keystage 3 are assessing 40% as summative and 60% as formative.
Special need education is highly focused on both the country. Students who are having learning difficulties were provided special care and learning environment with the help of the special education teacher. In Maldives every school has a special education teacher who teaches for the disabled and students who has learning difficulties.
In Finland, teachers are highly educated, esteemed, independent professionals of education. The education plans are much more loose than in other countries, so teachers themselves are quite free to decide how they teach. Moreover, the entrance exams for teacher education are difficult, and there is a lot of competition among the participants. This means that teachers, who nowadays apply for teaching and actually do become teachers, are usually intelligent, talented and motivated individuals. Language teachers in Finland was speaking very well and using the languages in the class. Unlike Finland, in Maldives education system teachers are not highly educated in all the areas especially in small islands. Most of the teachers were entering into the field just after their O’Level exerminations without any training. Therefore those relief teachers were not having any knowledge about the teaching. Therefore it faces lot of difficulties to cope up with new curriculum of Maldives. So implementation of principles of curriculum is difficult. (Korhonen, 2017)
Moreover, according to Finland curriculum teachers should have at least Master’s degree when they were applying for the job. But in Maldives teachers who do not have any training also have the chance to get the job which results to face lot of problems and unexpected changes in teaching. (Jarvenpaa, n.d.)
Unlike Maldives, education is free in Finland at any level. Whole education system is leading by the government. In Maldives students were having the chance to get free education up to grade 12. University education is not providing at free of cost. Moreover, in Maldives there are many private educational institutes which lead to have high competition in education. (Korhonen, 2017)
In Finland, teachers were not low paid. But in Maldives, everyone is agreeing that teachers were low paid because even if the teacher has Bachelor degree they will be getting Rf8440 as a basic salary. So most of the teachers were changing their field to some other because of low payments. Moreover, in Finland teachers were respectful. All are respecting to the teachers. However, in Maldives there are different issues with teachers because of the philosophy of no child left behind. Now a days there are students with very severe discipline problems who are enrolled in the schools. Therefore teachers have to tolerate them with lots of care which makes them to get blame during different cases of discipline.
In Finland, students were starting their education at the age of seven but in Maldives students were starting their foundation level education at the age of 5 in LKG.
Most of the features of education system in both the country are becoming similar as Maldives are trying to implement new changes to their curriculum. The different policies are introducing by researching how other countries were doing that. The major difference was in Maldives practicing Islam is one of the key competency but in Finland there are no religious based principle as they were not focusing on particular religion.
THE LEARNINGS FROM THE FINNISH EDUCATION SYSTEM AND ADAPTATION IN MALDIVIAN SCHOOLS
As Maldives is implementing new approaches to their education system, there are different strategies which can be adapted from the Finland education system.
In many countries, this is unheard of. For example, in Argentina and Paraguay, kids start school at the age of 4. However, it’s scientifically proven that at this age, children are in no way ready for sitting down in classrooms and holding pencils in their hands. In fact, not just are they mentally not ready for it, but also their motor skills are not ready for it. Just think, Is it any wonder if a kid’s motivation is lost when made to do something they’re not biologically ready for? Moreover, when children are in school, their results are controlled. There are certain standards that all students need to fulfill in order to proceed with their studies. For example, one does not make it to 3rd grade without being able to read and without understanding what it is that one is reading. (Emmi, Eriikka, 2012)Therefore, we can implement this in Maldives curriculum because from most of the teachers who are teaching preschool is complaining that their students were not ready to learn by sitting in the classroom. (Emmi, Eriikka, 2012)
Another change we can bring to our education system is that to provide free education in all the levels. Because of the many private educational institutes many believe that education system is not effective. Therefore government can provide all the education at free of cost to reduce the competition among the private institutes for the effective education system.
Finland parents were not questioning about the way of teaching by the teachers because they were satisfied with the teachers performance as they were highly educated and qualified. Therefore the Maldives government can train the teachers by providing training programs at free of cost.
Teachers enter the profession full of drive and enthusiasm. They are in the job for the right reason. We must trust them and keep that drive. To do this, we must give them the tools and time they need to recover after a hard day at work. If teachers are not overloaded by tasks that don’t benefit them or their students, they will be able to do a better job. Therefore the government can take some actions to protect the rights of the teachers in Maldives to build the trust between the teachers and the parents. (Hart, 2017)
RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
The Finnish education system is not only excellent, but serves as a model for the rest of the world. Changing the education system like Finland is sure to a step in the right direction towards giving them the best possible education while you build your career in the country.
The success of Finland’s education system makes it clear that teachers have a large impact on the level of a student’s success. Quality teachers are vital to a student’s success starting at a young age, and are therefore a part of education that should be of the utmost importance. Education, at its root, establishes the next generation of great researchers, scientists, doctors, and politicians – all of which are necessary parts of our future as an advanced civilization. But beyond that, education has the power to unite, making us better able to help one another and work to solve major global issues. To say that education is important is an understatement. At the foundation of education, is the primary schools that establish a love of learning and play in children at a young age. And without a system that fosters this development at the right time in the right way, a child’s education can start off in the wrong way. (Morgan, 2014)
Finland is able to achieve this through their decentralization, equality of public schools, and perhaps most importantly, the quality of their teachers. Without high standards for teachers, high level of respect and trust for the profession, and an overall passion for teaching the next generation that Finnish educators are required to have, their education system wouldn’t be reaching the high standards that is has been for the last fifteen years. (Morgan, 2014)
However, it would be very difficult to implement the strategies from the Finland curriculum because of lack of resources in Maldives. At first, teachers must be given proper and effective training before implementing any strategies. Otherwise it may be a flop and there will be lot of misunderstanding.
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