Finland has ended up known worldwide for its consistent changes in its educational system of recent years. It is shown from the result of Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Sweden's educational system is organized comparatively to Finland's, yet its PISA brings about mathematics have been closer to those of the United States, which have reliably been underneath the OECD average. The both country require nine years of comprehensive school, elementary grades (grades 1- 6) and lower- secondary grades (grades 7- 9). Grades 10–12 in Finland comprise of general or vocational upper-secondary school. To proceed onward to a college in Finland, students must take the Matriculation Exam (ME).
Math class in Finland and Sweden are very similar to those in the United States. Classes begin with checking homework and inquiries, trailed by the teacher giving direction in the new material, and finished with their new task. Finnish math class focuses on ways of thinking to solve the problem. Finland and Sweden both have mathematics textbooks. Finland's textbooks just have the answer in the back of the book, but Sweden textbook also have the solutions in the back. So, students can check their correct answers or not.
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Many Finnish schools use interactive whiteboard than Swedish school. Both School in Finland and Sweden has a more relaxed atmosphere than in United States and they have relatively small class. Least fifteen minutes between classes. The average class in Finland was consisting of 15 students and the largest class with 28 students.
Sweden has emphasis on oral communication in the mathematics curriculum that did not find in Finland. Example, the students present their solution to a problem to a small group of classmates and their teacher. The Sweden’s focus is more accommodating to the students’ needs, while in Finland’s focus is everyone should learn the all subjects in well.
There is a different goal of using the assessment between Finland and United States. In Finland, the goal of assessment is to aids student learning, whereas in United States, the goal of assessment is used mainly to rank students, teachers and schools. A big contrast in Finland than the others is that mathematics teachers in lower-secondary school and upper-secondary school must have a master’s degree in mathematics, whereas preschool and elementary teachers must have a master’s degree in education. Finnish teachers’ salaries are better than in the United States. Cooperation among teachers, schools, and communities is very harmonious. It makes teaching is a popular career in Finland, and students enjoy and always respect to their teachers. Finally, teachers are held in high esteem in Finland.
Sweden suffered badly in trouble that was related to teacher respect. Every teacher in Sweden felt that teachers are poorly respected and are blamed for many of Swedish society’s problems. Compare with Finland, it is relatively easy to become a teacher in Sweden. They just need have a bachelor’s degree as in the United States. In fact, Sweden currently has a shortage of teachers because today teaching is not considered an attractive job.
There are many of ways to make some great changes in education. Teachers must be worthy of respect by being experts in the mathematics and do best teaching practices. Teachers need to exchange experiences to teach better. (Reference: Mathematics Lessons from Finland and Sweden, written by Rebecca L. Seaberg)