Having spent a fascinating morning talking about the link between education, innovation and commercialisation, and as as a mother of children in the midst of their school lives, this clip on schooling in Finland could not have been more timely for me.
It also happens to be a must watch for everyone. It teaches us not just about the joy that can be inherent in education but - and far more importantly - how this sets us up for life.
By focusing on happiness, exploration, space and critical thinking, rather than league tables, hierarchy and standardised testing, children in Finland are set up for productivity and success throughout their lives. No wonder they are at the top of the global league tables.
There is so much to learn from this 10 minute video, lessons which are hard-baked into the Finnish approach to education, that I really do recommend you watch.
But, for now, here are thing things that left their mark on me, things I try to prioritise as I move through my working life:
- Focus on happiness (why do so many people think happiness and work are incompatible?)
- Foster egalitarianism (by focusing on what we can do, and not on our background, we promote fairness and stronger communities)
- Encourage social learning and socialising (we never know where great ideas and thinking will come from)
- Offer the freedom to question, and encourage critical thinking (only by knowing what we do wrong, and testing that, can we innovate and create)
- Play (we all too often forget that non-work time is as important as at-work time. My best, most creative, thinking nearly always happens when I am totally out of work, totally relaxed, my mind running free. When I am at play!)
"In America Education is a business... In Finland young people learn to become human.". Finland: A clip from Michael Moore's Where to Invade Next