School Without Tests?
沒有測驗的學校生活?

語音播放:

The Northern European country of Finland has one of the best public education systems in the world. What’s more, from kindergarten right through to university, there are no tuition fees. And if that’s not surprising enough to you, most Finnish schools have no tests, and some of them even have no subjects.

北歐國家芬蘭擁有世上首屈一指的公立教育系統。除此之外,從幼稚園一直到大學都不用付學費。更令人驚喜的是,芬蘭大多數的學校都沒有考試,有些甚至沒有學科。

How on Earth could this work? Let’s take a closer look.
到底這是怎麼運作的?讓我們來一探究竟吧!

語音播放:

One of the ideas embraced by the Finnish education system is that less testing equals more learning. Without the need to cram for tests or waste valuable classroom hours on testing, students can spend more time actually learning. How to they make sure the students are actually learning? Finnish schools only hire the best and most qualified teachers. Without the pressure on both teachers and students to achieve high scores, more energy can be focused on using creative means to impart important skills.

芬蘭教育系統所持的其中一個想法就是---少點測驗,多點學習。不需要硬記內容以應付考試,或浪費寶貴的教室時數在測驗學生,學生就可以多花點時間真正的學習。如何確認他們真的在學習呢?芬蘭學校只雇用最好的、具有資格的老師。不用對老師和學生施加壓力要他們達到高分,就有更多的精力可以放在如何利用有創意的教法傳授重要的技巧。

語音播放:

So how could schools also do away with subjects? Well, to begin with, Finnish students already go to class for fewer hours than most students in the world. This means they are better rested, less stressed, and teachers have more time to prepare better lessons. More recently, further changes were made so that traditional subjects like math and chemistry have been replaced with “topics.” Instead of cramming knowledge that might never be used, students analyze real world issues, which often involves combining information from a variety of subjects.  
學校如何能沒有學科呢?首先,芬蘭學生已經比世上大多的學生的上學時數還少。這代表他們的休息品質較好、壓力也較小,老師也有較多的時間來準備更好的課程。更近期,改變就更多了,因此傳統的學科像數學及化學就被「主題教材」取代。學生分析真實的世界議題,而不是死背一些可能永遠不會用到的知識,這經常涵蓋了各學科的資訊。

What are the results of this radical approach to education? When Finnish students are actually tested, they regularly score among the highest in the world.
這極端的教育方法的結果為何呢?就算芬蘭的學生真的去參加測驗,他們的考試結果通常都是世界上數一數二的高分。

Vocabulary 好字精選

1. kindergarten (n) the level of education before elementary  幼稚園
Schools in our country offer three levels of kindergarten.    
我們國家的幼稚園分有三個級數。

2. tuition (n) school fees  學費
Course tuition is due at the end of the first week of the semester. 
每學期第一周最後一天是學費的到期日。

3. embrace (v) accept enthusiastically  欣然接受,擁抱,抓住機會,包含
Our company embraces a policy of equal hiring practices. In other words, we consider all applicants equally, regardless of race, gender, religion, and so on.     
我們公司採用平等雇用法則。換句話說,我們認為所有的應徵者不論種族、性別、宗教人人皆為平等。

4. means (n) way, method  方法,手段,工具
She sees this job as a means to an end; she needs the money but hates the work itself.  
她將這份工作視為最後手段;她需要錢但卻憎恨工作內容。

5. impart (v) make information or skills known  透露,告知;傳授,給予
A teacher’s role is to impart knowledge to his or her students. 
老師的角色就是要傳授知識給他/她的學生。

6. radical (adj) extreme, not traditional 激進的,極端的
The professor was let go from the university because her views were too radical.
這名教授因為看法過於極端而被大學辭退。

Phrases and Sentence Patterns 句型解析

1. wh-/how on Earth (phr) Wh-/ how (with emphasis)  到底是…
Where on Earth is the drugstore? I really can’t find it.   
藥局到底在哪裡?我真的找不到。

2. do away with (phr) get rid of  擺脫,廢除,停止
Could society still function if we did away with taxes? 
如果我們停止收稅,社會依然能運作嗎?

3. to begin with (phr) first/at first  首先,一開始,起頭
To begin with, you’ll need to make sure you have all the right ingredients to make the pie.  
首先,你要確定你準備做派的所有食材都是對的。

Exercise 課後練習題

1. Liam skipped _______________ and went right to grade 1.
Liam跳過幼稚園直升一年級。
2. How much did you pay in ____________ fees for your first year of college?
你第一年付多少大學學費?
3. What our society needs is to _______________ love, not fear.
我們社會需要多接受愛,而不是恐懼。
4. Jamie has the desire, but lacks the ______________, to start her own business.
Jamie渴望,但缺乏方法來開創她自己的事業。
5. My father was a wonderful man who ______________ lots of knowledge to me.
我的父親是個很棒的男人,他傳授我許多知識。
6. This ______________ movement seeks to overthrow the current government.
這起激進的活動試圖要推翻目前的政府。
7. _______________ did you leave the door of our house unlocked?
你到底為什麼離開家卻沒有鎖門?
8. Some high schools are considering whether to _____________ mandatory gym classes.
有些高中想要廢除義務性體育課。
9. If you want to fix this problem, _______________ you must understand why it has arisen.
假如你想要修正這個問題,首先,你一定要了解產生問題的原因所在。

解答:
1. kindergarten
2. tuition
3. embrace
4. means
5. imparted
6. radical
7. Why on Earth
8. do away with
9. to begin with

Comprehension Questions 閱讀理解

1. What is the main idea of the article?    
a. Finland’s education system is radical but effective.  
b. Finland’s education system will surely be adopted by other countries.
c. Education in Finland has high fees but it’s very successful.
d. Education in Finland must be embraced by the rest of the world.

2. Which of the following is incorrect about schools in Finland?   
a. The students spend fewer hours in the classroom
b. The lessons combine a variety of subjects.
c. The lessons may still include math and chemistry skills.
d. The students take on the role of teachers.

解答:
1.  這篇文章的主旨為何?
a. 芬蘭的教育系統很極端但卻有功效。
b. 芬蘭的教育系統一定會被其他國家採用。
c. 芬蘭的教育費用高,但很成功。
d. 芬蘭的教育可能會被世界上其他地區接受。

2. 以下關於芬蘭學校的敘述,何者為非?
a. 學生在教室的時間較短。
b. 課程中結合各個不同學科。
c. 課程中可能依然需要演算技巧及化學知識。
d. 學生取代老師的角色。

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