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ERIC Number: EJ805567
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1025-1936
The System and How Does It Work: Some Curricular and Pedagogical Characteristics of the Finnish Comprehensive School
Valijarvi, Jouni
Education Journal, v31 n2 p31-55 2003
In the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) 2000 study, Finnish students showed significantly higher reading achievement than students of any other country/region. Finland also ranked among the best five countries in mathematical and scientific literacy. In Finland, the gap between high and low performers was relatively narrow, and the variation between schools was the second smallest among OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries/regions. The Finnish comprehensive school seems to be quite successful in reaching both high quality and equity at the same time. There is not a single explanation for the results. Rather, the outstanding performance of Finnish students is attributable to a web of interrelated factors, including comprehensive pedagogy, students' own interests and leisure activities, the structure of the education system, teacher training, school practices, and the Finnish culture. This article will illustrate how these factors may have contributed to Finland's performance by analyzing the results of PISA and highlighting some characteristics of the Finnish education system and cultural heritage.
Chinese University of Hong Kong. Room 204 Ho Tim Building, Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research, Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong. Tel: 852-2609-6999; Fax: 852-2603-6850; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for International Student Assessment