Why Are Finland’s School’s Successful?

Why Are Finland’s Schools Successful? by LynNell Hancock
The country’s achievements in education have other nations doing their homework

Worth a read to all American educators.  The quote that made my day?

“Children from wealthy families with lots of education can be taught by stupid teachers,” Louhivuori said, smiling. “We try to catch the weak students. It’s deep in our thinking.”
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/Why-Are-Finlands-Schools-Successful.html#ixzz27rl2AZOo
That says it right there.  Stop making public schools try to compete.  That’s what extra-curricular sports are for.

Further considerations:
Is it unfair to compare Finland and America?  You could raise the argument that Finland is more homogenous than America, and is therefore an easy country to teach in because the children are less diverse and so there is less work to be done accomodating  students not socialized into the mainstream culture.  Finland does not have the history of minority and immigration injustice and poverty issues that America has had.  While that may be true, you’d be surprised by how many immigrants do come to Finland, and they receive an education.  The boy in the story is one example.

All the political parties in Finland support teachers unions.  Makes you think.

One might say, “they’re all a bunch of godless socialists.”  While they are, technically, socialist, they do not put down a student’s religious heritage.  If a kid wants to pray every morning, they can.  Religious students can go to their schools and there’s no problem with that.  If you’re trying to prove a geo-political point, just remember that the privatization-savvy nation of Switzerland is just as religious as Finland.

There are no standardized tests, either.

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