Helen Ward

Finland looks towards a more technological future

The Nordic Pisa high-flyer is adopting a new approach to teacher autonomy

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In a modern school on the outskirts of Helsinki, a group of 10- and 11-year-old girls have left their classroom to play computer games.

The girls sit tapping their tablets – they are using an app that enables them to play a tune by pressing simulated rain-drops as they fall down the screen. Their teacher, Tapani Saarinen, walks between different groups of children who are sitting in the coffee shop-style seating areas in the corridor.

Saarinen’s lesson at Viikki Teacher Training School demonstrates one of Finland’s most famous long-standing educational traditions: teacher autonomy.

But ...

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