Psychological and pedagogical Support in the Finnish Education System



The article reviews the ways of organizing psychological and pedagogical support for schoolchildren in Finland. The Finnish education system ranks highly in educational rankings (PEARLS, PISA) and is aimed at solving two problems: qualitative education, physical and mental health of students. The article analyzes programs aimed at ensuring the psychological health and well-being of Finnish schoolchildren: a three-stage support program for children with special educational needs, health lessons, including blocks on mental health, the Kiva anti-bullying program, the career guidance and counseling system, the work of nurses. It is concluded that psychological and pedagogical support in Finnish schools is carried out by a large number of specialists: teachers, professional consultants, nurses, health education teachers, psychologists, special teachers, tutors, consolidated in special working groups to solve specific problems.

General Information

Keywords: finnish education system, psychological and pedagogical support, psychological well-being of schoolchildren, three-level support system for children with special educational needs, anti-bullying program

Journal rubric: Educational Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Adaskina A.A. Psychological and pedagogical Support in the Finnish Education System [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2022. Vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 8–16. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2022110301. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Gurtov V. A., Kolesnikov V. N., Pitukhina M. A. Ot traditsionnoi modeli proforientatsii k sisteme soprovozhdeniya i konsul’tirvaniya na protyazhenii vsei zhizni: opyt Finlyandii [From the traditional model of career guidance to a system of support and counseling throughout life: the experience of Finland]. Nepreryvnoe obrazovanie: XXI vek [Continuing education: XXI centure], 2019, Vol. 2(26), pp. 1—13. DOI:10.15393/ (In Russ.).
  2. Lytov D. A. Psikhologiya v Finlyandii [Psychology in Finland] [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologicheskaya gazeta [Psychological newspaper], 2004, no. 5, pp. 24—27. URL: (Accessed 10.07.2022). (In Russ.).
  3. Riekkinen M. A. Obespechenie ravenstva v obrazovanii: analiz opyta Danii, Norvegii, Finlyandii i Shvetsii Ensuring [Ensuring equality in education: an analysis of the experience of Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden Ensuri]. Obshchestvo: sotsiologiya, psikhologiya, pedagogika [Society: sociology, psychology, pedagogy], 2020. Vol. 9(77), pp. 124—128. DOI:10.24158/spp.2020.9.22 (In Russ.).
  4. Eklund G., Sundqvist C., Lindell M., Toppinen H. A study of Finnish primary school teachers’ experiences of their role and competences by implementing the three-tiered support. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 2020. Vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 729—742. DOI:10.1080/08856257.2020.1790885
  5. Kivimaki H., Vesa Saaristo V., Wiss K., Frantsi-Lankia M., Sthl T., Rimpela A. Access to a school health nurse and adolescent health needs in the universal school health service in Finland. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Science, 2018. Vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 165—175. DOI:10.1111/scpp.12617
  6. Ahtola A., Niemi P. Does it work in Finland? School psychological services within a successful system of basic education. School Psychology International, 2014. Vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 136—151. DOI:10.1177/0143034312469161
  7. Van Kessel R., Walsh S., Ruigrok A. N. V. [et all.]. Autism and the right to education in the EU: policy mapping and scoping review of Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. Molecular autism, 2019. Vol. 10, article ID 44, 15 p. DOI:10.1186/s13229-019-0290-4
  8. Christensen P. P., Zhang W. Shadow Education in the Nordic Countries: An Emerging Phenomenon in Comparative Perspective. ECNU Review of Education, 2021. Vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 431—441. DOI:10.1177/20965311211037925
  9. Hagquist C., Due P, Torsheim T., Vlimaa R. Cross-country comparisons of trends in adolescent psychosomatic symptoms — a Rasch analysis of HBSC data from four Nordic countries. Health Qual Life Outcomepp, 2019. Vol. 17, article ID 27, 13 p. DOI:10.1186/s12955-019-1097-x
  10. Johander E., Turunen T., Garandeau C., Salmivalli C. Different approaches to address bullying in KiVa Schools: adherence to guidelines, strategies implemented, and outcomes obtained. Prevention Science, 2020. Vol. 22, pp. 299—310. DOI:10.1007/s11121-020-01178-4
  11. Ernst J., Burgess E., Bruno L. Nature Preschool as a Promoter of Physical Activity in Young Children: An Exploratory Study of Nature Preschool in a Northern Climat [Elektronnyi resurs]. International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education, 2021. Vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 3—19. URL: (Accessed 31.08.2022).
  12. Federick A. Finland Educational System. International Journal of Science and Society, 2020. Vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 21—32. DOI:10.54783/ijsoc.v2i2.88
  13. Keskimäki I., Tynkkynen L. K., Reissell E., Koivusalo M., Syrjä V., Vuorenkoski L., Rechel B., Karanikolos M. Finland: Health system review. Health Systems in Transition. Vol. 21 (2) [Elektronnyi resurs]. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2019. 166 p. URL: (Accessed 01.09.2022).
  14. Välimaa R., Kannas L., Lahtinen E., Peltonen H., Tynjälä J., Villberg J. Finland: innovative health education curriculum and other investments for promoting mental health and social cohesion among children and young people [Elektronnyi resurs]. WHO/HBSC FORUM 2007: Social cohesion for mental wellbeing among adolescent. Venetsia: World Health Organization, 2008, pp. 91—103. URL: Forum_2007_Finland.pdf (Accessed 01.08.2022).
  15. Garandeau C., Laninga-Wijnen L., Salmivalli C. Effects of the KiVa anti-bullying program on affective and cognitive empathy in children and adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 2022. Vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 515—529. DOI:10.1080/15374416.2020.1846541
  16. Hautamäki J., Podolskiy A. I. The Finnish Education as an Individualized Service System with a Reference to Students with Special Educational Needs. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2021. Vol. 26, no. 3.pp. 94—101. DOI:10.17759/pse.2021260306
  17. Andrei A., Akkok F., Zakiyeva A., Voronina H., Zelloth H., Kadletz F., Fetsi A. International Trends and Innovation in Career Guidance. Vol. II. Country case studies [Elektronnyi resurs]. Torino: European Training Foundation, 2020. 92 p. URL: (Accessed 10.07.2022).
  18. Laireiter A. R., Weise C. The Heterogeneity of National Regulations in Clinical Psychology and Psychological Treatment in Europe. Where Are We Coming From, Where Are We Now, and Where Are We Going? Clinical Psychology in Europe, 2019. Vol. 1(1), article ID e34406, 10 p. DOI:10.32872/cpe.v1i1.34406
  19. Leppakoski T., Vuorenmaa M., Paavilainen E. Psychological and physical abuse towards four-year-old children as reported by their parents: A national Finnish survey. Child Abuse & Neglect, 2021. Vol. 118, article ID 105127, 12 p. DOI:10.1016/j.chiabu.2021.105127
  20. Markkanen P., Anttila M., Välimäki M. Supporting Student’s Mental Health: A Cross-Sectional Survey for School Nurses. Children, 2021. Vol. 8(2), article ID 129, 14 p. DOI:10.3390/children8020129
  21. Nylund A., Ervasti K., Adrian L. (eds.), Nordic Mediation Research. Cham: Springer, 2018. 268 p. DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-73019-6
  22. Björn PM., Aro M., Koponen T., Fuchs L. S., Fuchs D. Response-To-Intervention in Finland and the United States: Mathematics Learning Support as an Example. Frontiers in Psychology, 2018. Vol. 9, article ID 800, 10 p. DOI:10.3389/ fpsyg.2018.00800
  23. Salmivalli C. Poskiparta E. KiVa Antibullying Program: Overview of Evaluation Studies Based on a Randomized Controlled Trial and National Rollout in Finland. International Journal of Conflict and Violence, 2012. Vol. 6 (2), pp. 294—302. DOI:10.4119/ijcv-2920
  24. Savolaineni K. More Time Children Spend in Nature During Preschool Is Associated with a Greater Sense of Responsibility for Nature: A Study in Finland. Ecopsychology, 2021. Vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 265—275. DOI:10.1089/eco.2021.0006
  25. Lakkala S., Galkiene A., Navaitiene J., Cierpiaowska T., Tomecek S., Uusiautti S. Teachers Supporting Students in Collaborative Ways-An Analysis of Collaborative Work Creating Supportive Learning Environments for Every Student in a School: Cases from Austria, Finland, Lithuania, and Poland. Sustainability, 2021. Vol. 13(5), article ID 2804, 20 p. DOI:10.3390/SU13052804
  26. Persson M., Wennberg L., Beckham L., Salmivalli C., Svensson M. The cost-effectiveness of the KiVa antibullying program: results from a decision-analytic. Prevention Science, 2018. Vol. 19, pp. 728—737. DOI:10.1007/s11121-018-0893-6
  27. Toni A., Vuoren R. Lifelong Guidance in Finland. In Hagaseth Haug E., Hooley T., Kettunen J., Thomsen R. (eds.), Career and Career Guidance in the Nordic Countries. Leiden — Boston: Brill sense, 2020, pp. 127—143. DOI:10.1163/9789004428096_009
  28. Ustun U., Eryilmaz A. Analysis of Finnish Education System to question the reasons behind Finnish success in PISA [Elektronnyi resurs]. Studies in Educational Research and Development, 2018. Vol. 2(2), pp. 93—114. URL: (Accessed 01.08.2022).
  29. Yeasmin N., Uusiautti S. Finland and Singapore, two different top countries of PISA and the challenge of providing equal opportunities to immigrant students [Elektronnyi resurs]. The Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 2018. Vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 207—237. URL: (Accessed 31.08.2022).

Information About the Authors

Anna A. Adaskina, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Chair of Educational Psychology named after prof. V.A. Guruzhapov, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 789
Previous month: 57
Current month: 7


Total: 156
Previous month: 8
Current month: 1