- World – Nation – Region
- State – School District – Individual School – Team - Classroom
In Finland local curricula are designed based on the national core curriculum framework, which is an administrative steering document and a tool for teachers to develop their own pedagogical praxis (Vitikka, Krokfors, & Hurmerinta, 2012). Developing curriculum through the collaboration between national and local authorities is a highly developed practice that affords a shift in focus toward curriculum structure and the functionality of pedagogy (Vitikka, et al., 2012).
A striking difference between the two curricular structures is that one is developed with an intentional means for enabling and managing educational change, while the other is a means of political control and containment. One moves steadfastly towards the needs of the future, while the other stubbornly clings to the past. Teachers in one system are experts and change leaders, and in the other system little more than a obstacle to controlling systems. A similarity of the systems is origins of systems based on inequality of learning. Unfortunately, Finland learned and moved on, while America maintains its systems of inequality. Ultimately curriculum is a deeply national and cultural interpretation of knowledge. As Vitikka, Krokfors, and Hurmerinta (2012) express, “the greatest gain in comparing well functioning curricula lies in the development of national curriculum thinking (p.12). While Finland has managed to achieve this level of thinking, America is not quite there yet.
Oliva, P., & Gordon, W. R. (2013). Developing the curriculum (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River,
Vitikka, E., Krokfors, L., & Hurmerinta, E. (2012). The Finnish National Core Curriculum:
Structure and development. In Niemi, H., Toom, A., & Kallioniemi, A., Miracle of Education. The principles and practices of teaching and learning in Finnish Schools (pp.
83-96). Helsinki, Finland: University of Helsinki.