Thursday, February 21, 2013

Finnish Lessons: What Can the Educational World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?

Here is an excellent article:


On February 17, 2013, CBC Radio Sunday Edition host Michael Enright interviewed Pasi Sahlberg, author of Finnish Lessons: What Can the Educational World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? Finland routinely scores in the top three among OECD countries, largely because it has rejected just about every North American shibboleth about how to improve education. Students start school at seven (though most enrol in the voluntary pre-school programs). Schools do not grade, rank, or stream students in the first six years. There is a single standardized test taken at age 16. Students get 75 minutes of recess a day. Schools set their own curricula based on very broad national guidelines. Teachers spend 4 hours a day in the classroom. No tough love, no back to the basics, no two hundred fifty day school years. No school sports teams and jock envy (want to play? Join an after school sports group). Yet somehow, at age fifteen, the kids who take the international standardized tests kick our butts (but neither they nor their schools learn the individual results).

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