Learning

New Horizons & fresh hopes


So, 2015 rushes hurtles towards its end, with the unmistakable charm that every ‘end of a year’ proffers, I wonder what stood out for you. There is a bouquet of aspects that caught my attention. Here is one such.

The education system that Finland is putting in place is quite something indeed.  The fact that a successful and much acclaimed system like Finaland’s, is getting disrupted by themselves, even when its working so well, is something thats so obvious that it can be easily missed.  What wouldn’t get missed is the fundamental changes to the approach to education.  It spurs new hopes and joy.

Finland is moving out from a subject based education that we are all so very used to. Very soon, students will not have classes on ‘Physics’ ‘Geography’ and the like but more outcome based topics which will have elements from different subjects woven in ( For instance, as : ‘Automobile Maintenance’ Services could well be a topic with different subjects of physics, chemistry, maths etc woven in.  It readily appealed to me, for subjects arent taught in vacuum but with an application orientation.  They call it ‘Phenomenon based’. It will quite something when this catches on.

If this wasn’t big enough, the mode of teaching is changing as well.  The “One to Many” approach of a teacher standing up and lecturing is getting replaced with students huddling in groups and working out solutions.

It spurs new hopes for a variety of reasons. The chief amongst them : The fundamental changes that have taken place in the world around us, in terms of technology mainstreaming,  gets factored in here. A world where asymmetry in ‘information / knowledge’ is sliding down, seeks a new set of skills from students and teachers alike.  The changeover is going to be any easy, even if its going to be a progressive leader in education, like Finland.

The exam focused, soaking in and dumping of information in the guise of knowledge is surely past its prime. Its survival ( & thriving ) in large pockets is more a function of the momentum and success that it has brought us over several decades to generations of teachers and learners.

And finally, that hopefully should nudge corporate learning and development teams approach their work very differently.  The narrative is already beginning to shift with programs like this in our midst. We need more of these. More fundamentally, we need to think differently.

The times, they have changed and there is a new wind blowing. Its time to adjust our sails and catch early glimpses of the new horizon! The time to do that is now. Finland is showing how.