How to be happy: The importance of creative, active children
The OECD recently released the results for its global test of 15-year-olds in math, science and reading, known as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). China and Singapore ranked first and second, respectively, in all three areas. However, when it came to satisfaction with life, the situations was very different. China ranks eighth from the bottom, and the Chinese government has been initiating reforms to reduce the burden of exam preparation and foster better student-teacher relationships so that students actually enjoy learning.
Besides that, the next PISA assessment in 2021 will include creative arts and may have some sports education. In other words, the international community is recognizing the importance of a well-rounded education, one that is not focused solely on the hard skills of reading, math and science. Perhaps more importantly, there is a growing consensus that a good education should not come at the cost of students’ happiness and well-being.
At HEI Schools, we emphasize the importance of the arts, and we actively encourage children to develop their creativity. We believe this naturally expands their love of learning and fosters innovative thinking. Children tap into their creativity through musical activities, arts and crafts, and verbal and physical expression. Another learning area is physical wellbeing, and we incorporate this into every day's schedule with free play sessions and other physical activities. Sports not only keep children active, but research proves that it aids learning by strengthening newly built neural connections.
Children’s happiness and wellbeing as they learn are very important to us throughout their learning process. It is the philosophical foundation of the Finnish education system. To this end, our teachers build close relationships with the children by actively participating in their learning and growth, and they do not subject the children to stressful tests or examinations that take the joy out of learning. They work hard to ensure that the children learn to love the learning process and feel satisfied with their lives at school. Though these ideas originated with the Finnish education system, we bring these values to the world and work hard to ensure children’s happiness and healthy growth.
Interested in learning more about the Finnish education system and how you can bring it to your preschool or daycare? Watch our webinar about the HEI Schools Toolkit, an online subscription service with all the elements needed to implement our approach, to learn more!