Idea #16 & #17 from the EYE2018 Report
Life skills classes (such as such as filing a tax return, recycling or cooking basic meals) could be introduced in order to better prepare young people for life. These classes would help them acquire from an early age the basic skills that they need to successfully manage their daily activities and be better citizens who are integrated and involved in society, We should also move towards project-oriented education system, where young people can develop their own ideas and strengths rather than having knowledge hammered into them. This would encourage curiosity and creativity, the practice of new skills and a better acceptance of failures and weaknesses. Rather than teaching the same thing to a class of students with different strengths and interests, each student should be considered individually. Finland could serve here as a model. Its school system, which has been recognized by the PISA study as the most successful system in the world, encourages inclusion an development of social skills:
- For younger students of up to 13 years old, standard lessons do not exist. Students and teachers collaborate instead.
- "Play" in school is very important and the teachers’ goal is to motivate their pupils.
- There are no classrooms, but the students work in learning groups to boost their in-depth analysis and developing solutions skills or other talents.
- Students are taught "Kotitalous", home economics, and "Käsityö", handicraft. They learn about cooking, cleaning, using money responsibly, doing laundry, recycling and saving water and energy; but also about small-scale house-work such as knitting, repairing clothes, building a sled to have fun in the snow or a birdhouse for their garden. They are also taught about digital skills such as identifying fake news, the risks of cyberbullying, but also more practical skills like installing anti-virus programmes and using a printer.
- Finnish students are also allowed to choose a topic that they are interested in and to develop it by getting in touch with external resources, such as experts or museums.
1. Why and how would this idea benefit young people?
2. Which groups in society would be impacted by this idea, and how can their different interests be accommodated?
3. What would be the practical steps to implement this idea in your town, your region, your country and/or at the level of the EU?