A recent article in The Guardian in the U.K. revealed the secret of Europe’s most successful school system: Finland. It is a four-letter word: P-L-A-Y.
The author, Patrick Butler, visited the Franzenia daycare center and describes what he saw.
Central to early years education in Finland is a “late” start to schooling. At Franzenia, as in all Finnish daycare centres, the emphasis is not on maths, reading or writing (children receive no formal instruction in these until they are seven and in primary school) but creative play. This may surprise UK parents, assailed as they are by the notion of education as a competitive race. In Finland, they are more relaxed: “We believe children under seven are not ready to start school,” says Tiina Marjoniemi, the head of the centre. “They need time to play and be physically active. It’s a time for creativity.”
Indeed the main aim of early…
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