Finland – a leader in entrepreneurial thinking

tomi_alakoskiThe latest Pisa results have got people talking. We have already heard the reasons for the weaker scores, and among the topics under debate is the need for new teaching methods for the generation of digital natives. On the other hand, the significance of the Pisa study is being questioned altogether: does it truly measure proficiency that will be needed in future?

What schools need more of is the joy of learning and functionality. Motivation stems from learning by doing. As a society, we also need to learn about and understand the functions of our communities, the importance of entrepreneurship, and collective responsibility. We must have an entrepreneurial ability to solve problems, and we must eagerly innovate and pull together. An increase in various forms of entrepreneurial thinking is required in basic education.

This school year, as many as half of Finland’s sixth-graders will take part in the Me & MyCity study module. Me & MyCity is a 600-square-metre learning environment made up of business premises that represents a miniature town where pupils can spend a day role-playing various professions and learning about how society works.

The importance of this learning entity is growing along with the positive feedback it has received. According to both the pupils and teachers who have taken part, their day spent at MyCity was one of the best and most memorable in all of grade school. The learning experience combines functionality, the joy of learning, doing things on one’s own, and interaction. Computers are a natural part of the learning experience, and, according to the parents, the enthusiasm seen among the pupils continues at home, too.

Finland has already successfully introduced entrepreneurship in basic education. In November, Me & MyCity was announced as a winner in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. This year, hundreds of projects from more than 30 European countries competed for the awards granted by the European Commission.

Finland is truly a global leader and an example to follow in education and entrepreneurial thinking.

Tomi Alakoski
Executive Director, Me & MyCity, Economic Information Office (TAT)

Text originally published at Good News from Finland.