This article from The Atlantic follows Pasi Sahlberg, director of the Finnish Ministry of Education's Center for International Mobility and author of the new book Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? .
I will use a few bullet points.
- America needs to improve its education system.
- Finland's students are turning out some of the best scores in the world.
- What America keeps ignoring about Finland's successful educational system.
- Finnish schools assign less homework and engage children in creative play.
- There are no private schools in Finland (only a small number of independent schools that are publicly funded.
- None is allowed to charge tuition fees...this goes for the universities too.
- There are no standardized tests, except the National Matriculation Exam given at the end of what would be our high school.
- Teachers are trained to assess their students in their own classrooms.
- Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted.
- In Finland all teachers and administrators are given prestige, decent pay, and a lot of responsibility.
- There are no lists of best schools or teachers in Finland. The main driver of education policy is not competition between teachers and between schools, but cooperation.
- The goal of the education system in Finland, resulting in so much success today, is not excellence. It is equity.