Still fussing over the Finns

| March 8, 2012 | 0 Comments

It’s been 10 years since the rest of the world starting making a fuss about the Finnish school system – since, in fact, the release of the first Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2001.

Now Finnish education policy expert and author of Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn From Educational Change in Finland? (New York: Teachers College Press, 2011), Pasi Sahlberg, has offered his opinion on why the Scandinavian country’s education system attracts so much attention. Ironically, says Sahlberg, much of Finland’s success is due to lessons learned from other countries like Germany and Sweden, and – wait for it – the United States, which offered up the idea of cooperative learning.

Another reason why Finland’s schools produce excellent results is because policy design and implementation has also happened in close and authentic consultation with all relevant stakeholders, such as business leaders, non-governmental associations, researchers and parents, says Sahlberg. But, he adds, the overriding reason for Finland’s consistent school accomplishments has been its determination to avoid ‘faddish’ trends, and to focus instead on providing equal and positive learning opportunities for all children and securing their well-being, including their nutrition, health, safety and overall happiness.

Category: Autumn 2012

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