The Finnish Miracle…

David Warlick recently posted on his blog about the differences between Finnish and American education.

He makes some wonderful insights in this post, and I offer an excerpt here:

” One of the most interesting videos I watched, however, was a talk by Pasi Sahlberg formerly of Finland’s Ministry of Education (notes here).  He’s just published a book called “Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?” that apparently explains a lot about the “Finnish Miracle” in education.  Here are just a few items that resonated with me.

    • Education has long been important in Finland.  For hundreds of years, according to Sahlberg, literacy has been a requirement for matrimony.  You can’t get married without proving that you’re literate.
    • Education in Finland is free – everywhere for everybody.
    • Students track down two branches, starting around year 10, with about 55% of students going to upper secondary school and on to university or polytechnic and 40% going to vocational schools and apprentice training.
  • Contrary to the “more is more” approach being promoted here in the U.S., Sahlberg said that Finland has followed a less is more strategy, with
    • Less per-pupil spending,
    • Teachers spending less time in instructional supervision and
    • Students spending less time being taught than in the United States and other industrial countries.
  • Also less attention is paid to grades (it is apparently illegal to apply any grade to students before 5th grade) and NO reliance on standardized tests. (Sahlberg, 2011)”

I strongly suggest you click on his links within the excerpt.

You can read the original post here.


3 thoughts on “The Finnish Miracle…

  1. It is definitely worth our time to look at this work. There is a growing body of research on their effective educational system.

  2. “Getting rid of bad teachers is easy.”

    “What’s hard, is keeping the good ones.”

    I find that the current narrative about teachers in our society and political narrative is definitely pushing some amazing people out of the profession.

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