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Page history last edited by Chris Jones 12 years, 3 months ago

FINLAND is often held up as a country that "gets" education, with a government that uses both policy and funding to secure learning opportunities for its students that are difficult to replicate in other parts of the world.  This is a classic bright spot.  What accounts for this success?  What is working in Finland that we're not seeing in the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere?


Here is a recent Atlantic article Dec 2011 for discussion framing 1/15 and 1/22.


Additional FINLAND framing 1/29 from Joe Bower (Paradox)

Great FINLAND curated resource page from Jerry B and Larry Ferlazzo (Turnaround links)

NY Book Review "Schools We Can Envy" from Brenda Young  .. " .. the central aim of Finnish education is the development of each child as a thinking, active, creative person, not the attainment of higher test scores, and the primary strategy of Finnish education is cooperation, not competition..."




Here are preliminary takeaways from Bright Spot #Ecosys chat 1/15/12


  • Q1 1/15/2012 What are some of the ways FINLAND is differentiated from an Equity perspective?
    • Principle of equity more embedded in culture than U.S. or Canada - more of a priority; cultural forces appear to be foundational, eg., "Ministry of Education & Culture" 
    • Local influence - scale equates more to U.S. State level (TN) & Canadian province level - more manageable 
    • Higher standards for teacher selection & evaluation
  • Q1 1/29/2012 What are some of the primary differences? 
    • Trust, autonomy, respect for teachers 
    • Collaboration! 
    • Culture of risk taking
    • Ideal, adaptive blend of 'expert observers' and 'mindful practitioners' 
    • Different level of commitment to PD (Professional Development)
  • Q2 What are the similarities/differences between Norway/Finland?  Is there a paradox in play?
    • Norway has oil (higher GDP) while Finland has trees .. otherwise they are similar geographically, & even demographically? 
    • Norway policy looks more like U.S. policy 
    • Key difference is tweak (Norway) vs. complete overhaul (Finland)
    • Finland now considered one of the best in the world 
  • Q3 Does 'obsessive testing' impact success of ed reform in West/U.S. v. Finland? 
    • Creates focus on wrong things
    • Warps behaviors, risk of turning growth into graphs 
    • Need to shift focus from bad teacher to bad teaching; decide that no teachers/students will be lost, and work from there
    • Middle course better than taking extreme. No silver bullets (including "getting ride of tests"); key is setting priorities, creating balance


Here's the Finland3 transcript, (printed to PDF from chrome at end of session)


Please RT and/or Favorite additional tweets for anything we missed here.  We can come back to FINLAND again in the future as we need to.  GREAT insights, thanks so much.  Chris 1/29/12 



What is Ecosys?


It's a conversation about change in our social ecosystems, currently focused on K12 Education.  Here's more on our framing and our wiki frontpage brightspots topics



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