Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Date Information

May 2019

Department

School of Education

First Advisor

Cami Condie

Abstract

Finland is known for its high literacy rates. To study the factors that impact a child’s literacy development, four schools were visited in the Helsinki metropolitan area through VisitEDUfinn, a program that schedules school visits for education professionals interested in learning about the Finnish education system. Three professionals were interviewed, including one 2nd grade teacher, one pre-primary teacher, and one educational psychologist. Data were analyzed and categorized based on themes from the observations and interviews. Findings were framed using Bronfenbrenner’s Biological Systems Theory (1979). Emerging themes included (1) a holistic view of child development consistent across family, school, government, and society, and (2) a professionalized view of teachers. Questions arose about whether these themes would continue to be consistent with a changing Finnish population. This study contributed to a more cohesive understanding of the Finnish education system and may benefit United States educators who can learn from the Finnish system.

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