The Northern European country of Finland has one of the best public education systems in the world. What’s more, from kindergarten right through to university, there are no tuition fees. And if that’s not surprising enough to you, most Finnish schools have no tests, and some of them even have no subjects.
How on Earth could this work? Let’s take a closer look.
One of the ideas embraced by the Finnish education system is that less testing equals more learning. Without the need to cram for tests or waste valuable classroom hours on testing, students can spend more time actually learning. How to they make sure the students are actually learning? Finnish schools only hire the best and most qualified teachers. Without the pressure on both teachers and students to achieve high scores, more energy can be focused on using creative means to impart important skills.
So how could schools also do away with subjects? Well, to begin with, Finnish students already go to class for fewer hours than most students in the world. This means they are better rested, less stressed, and teachers have more time to prepare better lessons. More recently, further changes were made so that traditional subjects like math and chemistry have been replaced with “topics.” Instead of cramming knowledge that might never be used, students analyze real world issues, which often involves combining information from a variety of subjects.
What are the results of this radical approach to education? When Finnish students are actually tested, they regularly score among the highest in the world.
1. kindergarten (n) the level of education before elementary 幼稚園
Schools in our country offer three levels of kindergarten.
2. tuition (n) school fees 學費
Course tuition is due at the end of the first week of the semester.
3. embrace (v) accept enthusiastically 欣然接受，擁抱，抓住機會，包含
Our company embraces a policy of equal hiring practices. In other words, we consider all applicants equally, regardless of race, gender, religion, and so on.
4. means (n) way, method 方法，手段，工具
She sees this job as a means to an end; she needs the money but hates the work itself.
5. impart (v) make information or skills known 透露，告知；傳授，給予
A teacher’s role is to impart knowledge to his or her students.
6. radical (adj) extreme, not traditional 激進的，極端的
The professor was let go from the university because her views were too radical.
Phrases and Sentence Patterns句型解析
1. wh-/how on Earth (phr) Wh-/ how (with emphasis) 到底是…
Where on Earth is the drugstore? I really can’t find it.
2. do away with (phr) get rid of 擺脫，廢除，停止
Could society still function if we did away with taxes?
3. to begin with (phr) first/at first 首先，一開始，起頭
To begin with, you’ll need to make sure you have all the right ingredients to make the pie.
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