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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Other dimensions of internationalisation in early childhood and school education


13.Mobility and internationalisation

13.4Other dimensions of internationalisation in early childhood and school education

Last update: 27 November 2023

European, global and intercultural dimension in curriculum development

Early childhood and school education

Pre-primary education is built on the basic values of society, one of which is safeguarding human rights and the viability of the globe. The role of pre-primary education is to promote children’s growth into humane individuals and ethically responsible members of the society by guiding them towards conscientious action and compliance with generally accepted rules and towards appreciation for other people and cultures.

The National Core Curriculum for Basic Education (in Finnish), implemented from August 2014 onwards, describes internationality and skills related to it as an important resource in building a functional, diverse and respectful learning community. The values of basic education are based on respect for human rights, preservation of biodiversity and the viability of the globe and acceptance of multiculturalism. In their instruction, pupils familiarise themselves with their cultural heritage and are prepared for development of culture and active participation in an increasingly international world. In basic education internationalisation at home is more common than mobility. 

One of the objectives of foreign language instruction is to create curiosity and an unprejudiced attitude towards different languages and cultures.

General upper secondary education

The basic values of general upper secondary school instruction are built on Finnish cultural history, which is part of Nordic and European cultural heritage. At general upper secondary school, students should learn how to treasure, assess and renew their cultural heritage. Students will be educated in tolerance and international cooperation.

The current National Core Curriculum for General Upper Secondary Schools (in Finnish), implemented from August 2016 onwards, includes cross-curricular themes, which are priority areas that cross subject boundaries and integrate education. One of these is ‘knowledge of cultures and internationality’. Its objective is for students to become aware of the shared Nordic, European and universal human values and the manifestations of such values or of the lack thereof in their everyday life in Finnish society and globally.

These aims have been anchored into different subjects in the way that fits each subject. The flexible Finnish education system makes it possible for individual students to include international programmes and projects as well as studies abroad into their study programmes. A possibility of accreditation adds to the appeal of foreign or international studies. General upper secondary schools must reinforce students’ positive cultural identity and knowledge of cultures, which form the basis of attaining the ability for intercultural activities and of succeeding in international cooperation.

The instruction at general upper secondary school will help students to understand global, regional and local phenomena and problems and potential solutions to such problems. The aim is to learn to use knowledge to perceive factors influencing the changing world, form justified opinions, take a stance on changes occurring in local areas and in the world as a whole and actively contribute to promotion of the well-being of nature and human being. The objectives of instruction are for students to be able to function as citizens of the world taking a justified stance in issues concerning the surrounding world and acting positively towards sustainable development.

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