Finnish education | And if the Quebec school became a real living environment

Returning from a stay in Helsinki, Joël Boucher, a former teacher and school principal, became interested in the Finnish education system, which offers a different approach to the Quebec school.

Previously, I discussed the harmful effects of fixed-date encrypted reports to illustrate how they affect too many children by fiercely upsetting their relationship with school during their school career. The school carries with it a malaise caused largely by this obsession contributing to the fatigue, distress and anxiety of students and staff in the school network.

Obsessed with wanting too much to meet the needs of the job market, the school has dragged us into a skid, which we have been witnessing, powerless, for too long, ignoring Maslow’s pyramid, where we should rather build the child, therefore the person, to better help the student grow afterwards. No wonder a very large number of students do not appreciate being on the school benches.

By limiting the school only to the triumph of individual success to the detriment of the essential, the philosopher and college professor Joëlle Tremblay, in her essay Uneducation or the industrialization of the education system in Quebecexplains how the political decisions of the last decades have taken the education system away from its central mission while highlighting what should prevail in education, namely the humanity of the child, or even, more precisely, the intelligence, freedom and therefore the dignity of every child.

In other words, we miss the point. The school system has deprived the child of a living environment that should give precedence to how to succeed in life before even succeeding in life.

Besides, shouldn’t the leitmotif of any education system worthy of the name be “taking the time and having fun” to be better able to take care of the children we accompany during their school career?

It is therefore not surprising to see a profound lack of motivation. For too long, the student has been going to school to have a good job later. Who learns gets richer will be the motto of more than one generation, but does the school limit itself to training them for the needs of the market? School is not attractive and puts off a considerable number of children. Why ?

It is the will and the political power that are lacking due to parental, and therefore societal, pressure, which, falsely, still believes that a group average constitutes a source of motivation and self-transcendence. If it is clear that political leaders and those at the top of school service centers are unable to throw down ballast for less assessment and more teaching, the school will continue to miss its mark: educating our children.

Clearly, we have exhausted the system, we have siphoned it off, losing along the way the goal of education, namely the emancipation of our youth and the construction of our society, to paraphrase Joëlle Tremblay.

The school of the XXIe century will therefore have to leave much more space for the imagination, curiosity and relational intelligence that will lead our youth to face the challenges and issues they will face in this ever more complex world. In any case, it must be admitted that the skills acquired today will be obsolete when the graduates arrive on the labor market, to the point where the employer must constantly train the employee to compensate for the gaps.

However, taking care of our youth and all the players in the community means first and foremost offering them an environment that will promote fundamental knowledge: general culture through the arts, history and sciences, need to move, ecological awareness, emotional temperance, teamwork, adaptability and critical thinking, not to mention the essential technology.

We are at a turning point for our future and there is still time to change direction, otherwise very few people will choose to work in our schools. The Finns, in particular, have understood that, whatever our trade or profession, the common denominator is education.

However, who says teaching necessarily says teacher. This profession deserves an overhaul of the scale of valuation of professions in the popular mind, because without education, there is no electrician, computer scientist, surgeon or engineer.

A pedagogical work of awareness and, by extension, of mobilization is therefore essential in order to promote this central profession which is teaching in a knowledge society. It depends on our quality of life, which inexorably passes through educational values ​​that rhyme with us, the collective, rather than with individualism.

In the early 1960s, Paul Gérin-Lajoie, then Minister of Education under Jean Lesage, had been the conductor of a magnificent ideal which consisted in democratizing education for all young Quebecers. Quebec has come a long way in nearly 60 years, but could we not think about offering more humanity to this educational path by focusing more on the child, the person and, by extension, the citizen of tomorrow?

And why not, after the Quiet Revolution of the early 1960s, a quiet educational revolution? At no additional cost. Don’t we have here the noblest of collective projects?

Finnish education | And if the Quebec school became a real living environment