The PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) and TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) assessments did, however, find that Finnish children can lack motivation even at young ages.
Finnish education is internationally recognised as one of the country’s strengths. Fresh research shows that fourth-graders in Finland are excellent at reading, maths and science in comparison to their peers in other countries.
In reading, Finland came joint second with Russia, behind Hong Kong in first place.
In science Finnish fourth-graders came third out of 50 countries that qualified for the final ranking, with only South Korea and Singapore ahead. Eighth-graders were also good scientists, coming in fifth out of 42 countries in the final rankings. Eighth-graders were also eighth in maths worldwide, and second in Europe behind Russia.
The report did not have only good news for Finns, however. Despite their ability, fourth-graders’ motivation and commitment is weaker than in comparison countries.
The PIRLS and TIMSS surveys test children’s reading abilities in 49 countries and science and mathematics proficiency in 63 countries. They are organised by the International Association for the Assessment of Educational Achievement.