Worrisome Messages From Elementary Schools
In many teachers’ opinion, the new curriculum weakens learning achievements clearly or to some extent. Falling behind already in the elementary school doesn’t promise a bright future to the pupil.
The new curriculum has been in action in elementary schools for this ending fall semester. A final estimation of the new curriculum cannot be given yet, of course, but it’s worthwhile to listen to teachers’ worried messages carefully.
In an inquiry conducted by Yle, one third of answerers figured that the new curriculum weakens learning achievements clearly or to some extent. The number is surprisingly big. On the other hand, only 6% of principals estimated that the new curriculum will weaken achievements.
The aim of renewing the curriculum was to make sure that the competence and skills of Finnish children and youth remains on a good level both from the national and international point of view in the future as well.
The original goal was right for sure. Now the question is whether the goals will be reached with the new curriculum or not. According to teachers, this won’t necessarily happen.
According to the interviewed teachers, the new curriculum works for talented children, but weak ones will fall behind more easily than before.
Falling behind already in elementary school doesn’t promise very good results for the pupil in the future either, even though there’s still time to shape up at that point. However, starting from far behind doesn’t help the pupils.
The goals of the teaching renovation were also to strengthen the pupil’s activity, increase the meaningfulness of studying and enable each student to feel successful.
In this beautiful vision, children and youth will also be guided to take more responsibility for their studying, and each pupil will also be supported in their studies.
Here’s hoping that the vision will come true also in practice.
Beforehand it was supposed that the new curriculum will divide opinions the most when it comes to evaluating learning.
At the end of the schoolyear, the pupils will still get a report card where there’s an evaluation on how the pupil has reached the goals of the schoolyear. The city gets to decide whether the report cards will have written feedback on them or whether the pupils will be given grades as numbers.
The public conversation on the matter is yet to be had. The numbers are clear but many people in the profession of teaching consider them problematic. A written evaluation can be clearly more diverse at its best.