There Is No Homework In Finland!

So, every single student these days is talking about it – there is no homework in Finland! I guess you are all already packing your bags. But, is having no homework really a smart thing? Well, according to this awesome infographic – it is!

High school graduation rate in Finland is at 93 percent, which is fantastic, especially when you compare it to 78 percent in Canada or even less (75 %) in United States of America. Finland also has the highest rate in Europe of students going to college (two of three).

They don’t have homework and they are so successful! How is that even possible? There are only twelve students on one teacher, so students get plenty of teacher interaction. They also don’t have much standardized tests. For example, student in New York takes ten standardized test before he or she reaches high school and guys from Finland only have one standardized test at the age of 16.

Finland educational system sounds really awesome and other countries can learn from them!

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Comments

  1. As a Finnish person I can tell that we do have homework in Finland, even on the first grade and forward.

    • Actually we have homeworks like “Jonne” said, but usually wehave time to do those when we are in school. Maybe that is the reason why they are made. Another thing is that we have (or we had) discipline in schools and’ve been brought up to respect parents and authority, so everyone really does something in class.

  2. Ambyr Lostracco says:

    This is excellent information. The US has been going in the WRONG DIRECTION for so long. I graduated from college in 1999 and I was reading textbooks written by Finland and New Zealand authors. Why is it taking so long for our country to figure education out?????

  3. Jarmo Väisänen says:

    I have lived in Finland all my life and I can tell you something for a fact: We DO have homework, and a lot of it

  4. I wonder why this has been published? Has the writer been in Finland? Or even talked to a finn? Of course we have homework! From first grade in elementary school on. The student teacher ratio is about 1 to 25. There are standard tests on all levels. Our teachers work long days and do not have a high salary.

    Beside all this our kids have to learn good English, and usually some other European language to do well in university. Please, get your facts right before you publish!

  5. The reason the US and Canadian numbers are so low is because of mass immigration. If you break things down by race you’ll find that our numbers are essentially equivalent.

  6. This is an excellent case study in “how to lie with charts”. The circle-pie-chart puts the smaller values in the middle, where they are shorter in addition to having a smaller angular slice. The bar graph axis goes from 520 to 570, and uses cute pencil graphics that are hard to read.

    2 of the 6 references are broken links. One of them (businessinsider.com) is simply a list of factoids taken out of context (like this infographic itself), and cites a Smithsonian.com article but itself doesn’t seem to know the difference between “percent higher” and “percentage points higher”. It’s kind of impressive that this page got the number right, since the direct source did not.

    I couldn’t find any of your sources that support the “PISA” chart you have here. I did look up the PISA 2006 results on their own webpage (oecd.org) and found that not only is your chart misleading, it’s using incorrect numbers. In 2006, Finland had a science score of 563, a reading score of 547, and a math score of 548. These average to 552.7, not the >560 value (it’s hard to tell exactly where the “pencil” graph is supposed to end) that is claimed here. Even the Wikipedia article on PISA has the 2006 numbers correct, so it’s easy to verify, if you don’t want to dig through the OECD’s spreadsheets.

    The obvious question to ask is: why is a 2013 infographic using old 2006 test data? The answer seems to be: because that is the year in which Finland did the best, with the #1 score in 2 of the 3 categories. Back in 2000, Japan and South Korea both beat Finland overall (with each of the 3 countries taking the top score in one category). In 2009, several non-OECD countries were included in PISA for the first time, and China tested far ahead of everyone, 39 points ahead of Finland in math, 21 points ahead in science, and 20 points ahead in reading.

    The rest of the world could learn a lot from you, China. Hopefully, that includes how to make an accurate infographic!

  7. The article should emphasis that Finland have plenty of good teachers that are highly qualified (Masters degree) and very well paid (last point is my assumption based on the doctor/lawyer comparison).

    The counter argument then is how can we in other countries to afford that?

  8. One major point is that in Finland the education is free. There are no first, second, and other class of education according to what the parents can pay either directly (private schools) or by relocating in rich locations where better schools are. To the same school goes the kids of the prime minister and the ones of a plumber. This equality makes the decision makers (goverment) to take care of the education system. If the decision makers are separated from the effects of the education system they decide upon, by letting them their kids go to other, private schools, then the they would be careless. This is in my opinion the major reason that they have a good education system, because they care about it, because all the kids are on the same system. And because they care, the care to have the best for teachers (and pay them accordingly), show respect to those that breed the next generation, invest to better education, and it shows.

  9. Eero Nevalainen says:

    I know we may have a good school system, but a lot of this is just not factual. There certainly is homework, the 1:12 ratio sounds like a wild pie in the sky dream when class sizes are probably around 25… during elementary school the only standardized test is at 16, but this is to get statistical data to ensure that the non-standardized tests are in line with what is generally expected. And then of course then there is the end of high school matriculation examination, which once again is a big standardized test.

  10. Greetings from Finland! There IS indeed homework, starting first grade. Better info on the Finnish education system is for example here http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/Why-Are-Finlands-Schools-Successful.html (it says “minimal” homework, but I do not think that is quite true either)

  11. Just wondering says:

    Sources please? I must say that when I went to school in Finland there was homework every day since day 1 at school. I have no clue what is this standardized test at 16, never heard of it. There is the high school final exams but those are taken at 18. Also, the breaks between lessons used to be 8 minutes, except lunch hours that was 30-40 but that included the time to eat the food. Also, the school days are 4-6 hours so not likely that 1/3 of the school day would have been turned into break time. High school graduation rate is high, but where is the mention that not everyone gets to go to high school – so only the best kids will qualify and I think at least 50% have to choose a different educational route, such as vocational training. And then this 2/3 goes to college – the definition must be quite vague. When I studied in Finland (and I am no dinosaur) there was about 10 universities in the whole country and you could only go for master’s degree. There are now other schools that offer bachelors, but those would normally have the criteria of passing the high school, so if everyone got in, it could still only be 50%… Also the larger class sizes has always been a problem: mine had 32 except the first year when I lived in a tiny village and the whole place only had 15 other kids of my age… check your sources?? I am definitely checking with friends who are teachers in Finland and those with kids at school, but this story sounds a bit weird to me.

  12. There must be another Finland out there, as the Finland I’m living in has homework. When the parents ask from their kids “Did you get any homework today?”, answer is always no.

    Please fix your blog post.

  13. Let’s get to the point: I give homework.
    Now get back to work Jarmo, Annoj and Jani.

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