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.