Finland, internationally renowned for innovative educational practices, is poised to become the first country to eliminate school subjects. Officials are making changes to be implemented by 2020 that will revolutionize how the school system works by allowing pupils to absorb a body of knowledge about language, economics and communication skills.
“We need something to fit for the 21st century,” says Department of Education head Marjo Kyllonen. The system will be introduced for seniors beginning at age 16. They will choose which topic or phenomenon they want to study, bearing in mind their ambitions and capabilities. “Instead of staying passively in their benches listening to the teachers, students will now often work in smaller groups collaborating on projects, rather than just assigned classwork and homework.”
Another new model of learning sparked by XQ: The Super School Project is underway at New Harmony High School, housed on a floating barge at the mouth of the Mississippi River southeast of New Orleans. They’ve received a $10 million grant to work on environmental issues when it opens in 2018.
“High schools today are not preparing students for the demands of today’s world,” says XQ Senior School Strategist Monica Martinez; she notes that about a third of college students must take remedial courses and are not prepared to thrive as employees.