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TEACHING HISTORY AND SOCIAL STUDIES IN FINLAND

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TEACHING HISTORY AND
SOCIAL STUDIES
IN FINLAND
Maarit Mattila
Taina Sipiläinen-Veikkanen
Aims in History
- To create an individual, national and European
identity
- To appreciate human rights and democracy
- The key concepts of history include time,
change, continuity and causality
Aims in Social
studies
- To give skills to evaluate
critically documents,
statistics and pictures
- Training will provide
students with capabilities for
active and critical
examination of current
phenomena
- To teach how to be an
active citizen
Primary School (age 7 – 12)
- History begins in 5th class; pupils are
11-12 years old
- From the prehistory to the French
Revolution
- All subjects are tought by class teacher
- Once or twice a week; lesson lasts 45
min
- Studying is free of charge; pencils,
rubbers,notebooks are given to
students, textbooks are reused
- Methods:
activities,drawings,films,stories…
History in Secondary School
(age 13-16)
- From the French Revolution to modern times
- Specialized history teachers
- 2 courses a year (1 course = 30 hours / lessons
75 min)
- argumentation and discussions are common
teaching methods
- Copies from maps, internet,
- learning how to write essays
- To understand which
is reason, which is result
Social studies in Secondary School
- Last year (= 9th class) in compalsory
school
- 3 courses a year
- ”How the modern Finnish society works?”
- The responsibilities & rights of citizens; taxation, student
allowance…
- Finances and economics; expensies of family, how to
found the company?
- Law and order; a visit to district court…
- Social security; child benefit…
- Media; familiarize to local printing office, influence of
advertising…
History courses in Upper
Secondary School (age 16 -19)
• Thematic courses; 1 course = 30 hours (the total number is 75
courses)
• 4 compulsary courses
–
–
–
–
Man, the environment and culture (=economical history)
European man (=cultural history)
International relations (=political history 1815 – 2011)
Turning-points in Finnish history (= 1809 – 2011)
• 2 – x voluntary specialisation courses
– Finnish history before 1809
– Meeting of cultures: Non-European Cultures
– Extras e.g. ancient history, world politics, training for the finals
etc.
Social studies courses in Upper
Secondary School (age 16 – 19)
• 2 compulsary courses
– Political science
– Economics
• 2 – x voluntary specialisation courses
– Law
– European Union
– Extras e.g. entrepreneurship, training for the
finals, etc.
The Final Exams
• Final exams in history
and social studies are
voluntary but popular
• The popularity of
social studies is rising
in the final exams
• In each subject’s
exam 10 questions to
choose from: write 6
essays, 6 hours time
Teacher’s perspective
• You have to advertise your courses and
• Motivate the students
• About 30 % of my courses are voluntary for the
students: if you teach more courses, you’ll get
higher pay
• You have lots of freedom to choose your methods:
films, debates, cartoons, news portfolios etc.
• If you are active you can make projects and
organize visits outside school
• Sometimes competition between the subjects and
between the teachers
Students’ opinions (18 year olds)
• ”History and social studies give you
general knowledge”
• ”You need to know some basic
things from the past to understand
the present”
• ”Finnish and international history
are equally important”
• ”There should be more compulsary
courses in social studies because
they are so useful”
• ”The most interesting subjects at
school!”
Thank you for your attention!
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