All posts by almazhaysabidulla

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”?

References:

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

Access to high-quality textbook: when will it happen?

In recent years, most people, especially parents argue that there are a lot of textbook errors in schools. It is worth to mention here that school textbooks such as  history of Kazakhstan, English, Kazakh and Russian languages, science subject textbooks have grammatical, spelling, punctuation mistakes as well as “absurd” errors. We can easily find a number of examples on the Internet. For instance, this example shows that some test questions don’t have correct answer in one English textbook, whereas litle children know that Yury Gagarin was a Russian.

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Many textbooks don’t take into account the age of children at all, because there are a lot of complicated tasks for primary school children which are difficult even for adults to find an answer. Likewise, most of you might be familiar with mistaken questions in UNT like chronological dates of history.

One common factor is that many arguments and complaints are about textbooks in Kazakh language because of direct translation. Sometimes it seems that these textbooks are translated by “uneducated experts” who definitely have no proficiency in Kazakh language. You will lose yourself reading these illiterate pieces of work in terms of meaning of complex sentences, terms and inequivalent translations of phraseological units and etc. It is evident for everyone that we are elaborating a trilingual education policy which also draws attention on expansion of Kazakh language. So, if mistakes in Kazakh textbooks will continue on, not mentioning about Kazakh education quality, how will we preserve our mother tongue?!

Overall, I have no idea who is in charge for high-quality school textbooks (publishers? or authors?) and why experts allow publishing textbooks turning a blind eye. So many school textbooks are being printed last time and can not get rid of errors though it costs a lot of money. Despite the fact that journalists and teachers are debating many times about textbook content and structure, no serious steps are still undertaken.