Emulating Finnish successful education model?

There is no one-size-fits-all model of education system which all countries can emulate. However, there exist many successfull examples of education model such as Finland, Singapore,Canada, and Japan which other countries with weaker approaches can follow. In this post, I would like to write about the education model of Finland as it is believed to be successfull one having its excellent results in PISA.

Which one is good: preparing school children for life or for exams? Nowadays, in many developing countries as well as in Kazakhstan, schools “qualify” children to pass exams successfully, and in our case for UNT. However, choosing the first seems like one of the main principles of education system of Finland. Despite the fact that Finnish school children reveal compelling mathematics, science, and reading skills in international tests, they spend less time studying. The author Morgan (2014) points out some essential characteristics of this school model, certainly, equity for all, gratuity except education, trust and confidence, and self-dependence of children.

More precisely, Finnish people draw more attention to equity of everything, including: equity of schools which means there are neither elite schools nor powerless schools; equity of all subjects, and it is not believed that mathematics is more important than, for example, art; equity of all parents, students and teachers no matter their social status. Moreover, everything which is needed for school student is free of charge, presumably, food, museums, transportation, books and laptops. There is no understanding of authority approach among teachers, because students choose what is more useful for him or her to do at the lesson. Teachers and parents great the choices of students whether he chooses to learn better or not; taxi driver is also profession for them.

Anyways, it doesn’t mean that learning at schools of Finland is “soft”, because all children are controlled by rules of school regime. The interesting thing is that what makes Finnish schooling the best? Giving voluntariness, freedom and self-depence to school students? Ot other recipes for “success”?


Morgan, H. (2014). Review of Research: The Education System in Finland: A Success Story Other Countries Can Emulate, Childhood Education, 90(6), 453-457

5 thoughts on “Emulating Finnish successful education model?

  1. Your topic made me to investigate why there is a huge gap in education between our countries. I have found out that the main reason of educational success of Findland not only because Finn schools has equal access to resources, infrastructure but also due to the fact that people in Finland are more secure and less anxious because there are confident that they will get a support from government in any case. It means that even if they face unemployment or illness, Finns will have some payments from the state, public health care and education. It is very hard not to get jeolous of this country. The problem is can Kazakhstan be able to become such a competive country as Finland by 2030?


    1. I totally agree with your point of view, Assiya! There is no even one smaller similarity between Finland and Kazakhstan. The way of thinking of people is different; mentality is different. If to take two countries’ educational systems and compare, everything is vice versa; autonomy of schools, status and prestige of teacher profession, responsibilty and voluntariness of school children, etc. Finnsih children do not suffer from big assignments, at the same time show high results in international tests. These two things are likely to be controversial to each other. And may be, that is why, we call Finnish education as miracle.

      Anyway, there is no point to compare these two educational models and to adopt something from Finland to Kazakhstan, and it is impossible, because Finnish miracle, might be, will not work in our country. We have to think and plan our own way to success, and I truly believe that we’ll achieve it no matter what!


  2. This is a very useful post, which might be interest of SL cohort. I have read that the key of such success of Finnish education is teachers’ role. I recommend you to read the article “Teachers in Finland – trusted professionals” by FNBE, where you can find the facilities and autonomy the teachers are given in Finland. It is a pity that MES of Kazakhstan neglects the main actors of educational system and even blame them for ineffectiveness. I am positive that the quality of education will noticeably enhance as soon as the teachers’ voice will be considered in reform creation.


  3. Thank you for the interesting post!

    In my view, Finnish education model has many advantages for children like development of creative thinking and self-development. Comparing with Kazakhstani education, it contributes to improve the skills of all children despite their level of knowledge. I think, it will be challenging to tranfer the Finnish experience in Kazakhstan because of several reasons. Firstly, education depends on economical development. Finland and Kazakhstan have the different tax systems. In order to develop the education system, Finnish people have to pay high tax payments. Secondly, the comparative element is an inevitable part of our education which differs in Finland. Thirdly, Kazakhstan should solve other issues in education as low teacher’s status and problems with inclusive education.


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