Parents of children at the Pontus school in the city of Lappeenranta in eastern Finland have filed a number of complaints with the Regional State Administrative Agency about teaching methods and practices at the school. In some cases, parents have decided to move their children to other schools where more traditional pedagogical methods are still being used.
The Pontus school is one of the first in the country to fully implement the new core curriculum, introduced by Finland’s Ministry of Education in 2016, which is based on the concept of ‘phenomenon teaching’ – the replacing of traditional subject-based classes like maths and history with interdisciplinary courses focusing on broader topics.
Under the new curriculum, children are also encouraged to become autonomous learners, for example by creating their own study plans.
The Pontus school’s brand new building was completed and opened in the autumn of 2017, and the architecture was designed to support the objectives of the new core curriculum.