Education

Can happiness be exported? One Finnish school believes so

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Finland has emerged as the happiest nation in the world, and not for the first time.

The Nordic country, home to just 5.5 million people, scooped top spot in the UN’s World Happiness Report — which ranks countries by how content their citizens perceive themselves to be — in both 2019 and 2018. Furthermore, it has consistently ranked in the top 10 — since the first report in 2012.
Despite severe and prolonged winters, Finns’ positive outlook is boosted by low levels of crime, access to nature, affordable childcare, heavily subsidized healthcare and, crucially, free education.
Compulsory school education also begins at seven, which is late when compared with British children, who begin in the year they turn five, and the U.S., where children enroll before six.
Standardized testing does not exist in Finland and students are encouraged to explore their strengths, rather than compete, in a more relaxed environment, which education experts say can have a lifelong positive impact.
John Helliwell, editor of the World Happiness Report, told CNN that Finnish children posting the highest scores in the OECD’s PISA education rankings first attracted international attention to the country’s school system. “The same thing is now happening for happiness, with respect to life as a whole,” he said.
He said the country’s top educators had ensured that the “system move beyond the achievement of test scores to the development of happy and well-adjusted children and adults.”
One entrepreneurial Finnish school is now branching out overseas, exporting its lessons globally in a bid to spread, and sell, this happiness.
Source: CNN
TFPR Editorial

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