The Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation has opened an exhibition on Finnish Bildung, “sivistys”, and learning in August 2022. The new exhibition centre is located on Museokatu 18 (Cygnaeuksenkatu 4) in central Helsinki. On this site we will provide information for visitors.
Background: Sivistys, Bildung, Learning
Finland is internationally known as a highly skilled society with a high level of trust and wellbeing.
Success in OECD comparisons, such as Pisa and PIAAC, brings educational tourists to Finland. In late 19th century Finland was one of the poorest countries in the world. How has this come about in only a hundred years? Our history shows that we have solved challenges and emerged from a poor and remote country into a well performing society by investing in education, learning and Bildung.
We are facing global challenges that are critical for our future. Wicked problems such as the climate crisis and its consequences for all living creatures, in addition to persistent social inequalities, demand deeper understanding of complex issues and how to solve them.
Simultaneously the idea of Bildung is in crisis, as evidenced, for example, by the rise of populism and the threats to democracy. Also, it is often seen that the importance of education is reduced to learning useful skills for the labor market. Bildung, however, is a wider concept. It emphasizes ethics and aesthetics along with knowledge and action.
Bildung is both an individual and a joint process in which a person develops himself, modifies his/her culture and transforms the existing world. While the modern concept of Bildung has its roots in the enlightenment, it is a dynamic concept, which is and needs to be re-evaluated and redefined by each generation and culture.
But what exactly is Bildung to us? The meanings and ideals of Bildung are essentially in a state of change. The discussion belongs to us all.
An invitation to shape our learning futures
The exhibition will look into the future of Finnish Bildung through the history and the present of Finnish education and folk-bildung. Our history shows that we have built our society successfully by investing in education, learning and Bildung in many ways.
We believe that Bildung belongs to everyone. Our aim is to stimulate a debate on the values behind Bildung and learning. The Bildung center provides research-based background, tools, and a channel for participation in the discussion.
We hope to raise awareness of Bildung as a mutual task and common good as well as to find new meanings and content for Bildung. The most important question we hope to raise is: What kind of Bildung do we need to take care of each other and our planet better?
After the visit to the Center for Finnish Bildung and Learning, the visitor will have a deeper understanding of the values, visions and actions through which we have formed our society the way it is today. This enables also evaluating the possible shortcomings of our educational system and policy. The visitor has a new vision of where we should be heading in the future and faith and confidence that it is possible.
The gaze is critical yet empowering. We have a solid ground to build on. We can form our future together!
+358 50 47 69 977
Specialist on Lifelong Learning
+358 41 5448182