The First Global Education Industry Summit brought together education policy makers and education-related industry leaders to exchange ideas on how education has evolved and revealed strategies for innovation.
Held in Helsinki, Finland on Oct. 19 and 20, the summit was the ideal location because Finland is known for its strong education system.
“Finland’s education system is well regarded worldwide for its teacher education approach, and for the status that the teaching profession enjoys,” said Education Minister Hekia Parata.
The summit was jointly organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the European Commission (EC) and the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.
During the summit, Finland’s Minister of Education and Culture Sanni Grahn-Laasonen discussed the importance of social change and how this correlates with keeping children in school and continuing their education.
“We need to challenge our education systems in order to keep up with current social change and expectations to encourage people to learn continuously,” said Grahn-Laasonen.
Since the digital era has made an immense impact on education, Finland announced it will introduce a new national curriculum emphasizing digital skills in August 2016.
Ranked fifth in the world for education, Finland also desires to place more emphasis on phenomenon-based learning.
Instead of passively receiving information from teachers in traditional subject learning, students have the opportunity to work alongside teachers to develop projects while taking responsibility for their own learning.
Phenomenon-based learning also deals with the incorporation of modern technology, in particular, online instruction and game-based learning.
Through these strategies, Finland hopes to prepare its students for the evolving demands of higher education and an ever-changing workforce.
“One of the common themes of the discussions was how much education systems can learn from each other, but it is also important to recognize that each system is particular to its own culture and society,” says Minister Parata.
While the next summit will be held in Israel in 2016, representatives and international organizations hope education reforms will trigger more students to receive the education they deserve to succeed.
– Alexandra Korman