Personal. Education should enable young people to develop their own talents and interests and to engage with the world within them as well as around them. Wisconsin State Reading Association Convention. Milwaukee, WI, USA. 4th February FINNISH LESSONS What can the U.S. learn about educational. Pasi Sahlberg is a visiting professor at Harvard Graduate. School of Education and former Director General of CIMO. (Centre for International Mobility and.
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Director General. Helsinki FINLAND. The “Great Teacher” Colloquium. Anchorage, Alaska, USA. 25th APRIL ruthenpress.info Twitter: @ pasi_sahlberg. “Like other professionals, as Pasi Sahlberg shows in his book Finnish Lessons, Finnish teachers are driven by a sense of intrinsic motivation. ish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland offered by Pasi Sahlberg in his latest book Finnish Lessons: What Can the World.
Mediocre performance in the PISA survey. Educational policy, Abrams suggests, is probably more important to the success of a country's school system than the nation's size or ethnic makeup. Indeed, Finland's population of 5. According to the Migration Policy Institute , a research organization in Washington, there were 18 states in the U.
What's more, despite their many differences, Finland and the U. When Finnish policymakers decided to reform the country's education system in the s, they did so because they realized that to be competitive, Finland couldn't rely on manufacturing or its scant natural resources and instead had to invest in a knowledge-based economy.
With America's manufacturing industries now in decline, the goal of educational policy in the U. Finland's experience suggests that to win at that game, a country has to prepare not just some of its population well, but all of its population well, for the new economy. To possess some of the best schools in the world might still not be good enough if there are children being left behind. Is that an impossible goal? Sahlberg says that while his book isn't meant to be a how-to manual, it is meant to be a "pamphlet of hope.
Just like Martin Luther King a few years later had a dream. Those dreams came true. Finland's dream was that we want to have a good public education for every child regardless of where they go to school or what kind of families they come from, and many even in Finland said it couldn't be done. It is possible to create equality. And perhaps even more important -- as a challenge to the American way of thinking about education reform -- Finland's experience shows that it is possible to achieve excellence by focusing not on competition, but on cooperation, and not on choice, but on equity.
The problem facing education in America isn't the ethnic diversity of the population but the economic inequality of society, and this is precisely the problem that Finnish education reform addressed. More equity at home might just be what America needs to be more competitive abroad.
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I look forward to taking him up on his suggestion that we meet and discuss these issues. The fact that Sahlberg draws authority from Finland presents us with a further problem. New research by Altinock, Angrist and Patrinos, aggregated scores across a range of measures and this seems to show that Finland obtained most of the gains in its performance in the s and s: It is worth noting that the Finnish system has changed over time and there was more control and a more traditional approach in the years when these gains took place.
If we want to achieve similar gains then we might be better to look at these policies rather than the ones Finland has enacted more recently and certainly not ones they intend to enact in the future. Ultimately, it is evidence to which we should defer, something that has been largely missing from the reporting so far. If Sahlberg has a case to make then he should do so and present his evidence.
Borrowing authority from Finland will not do. John Kenny has also written a post on this topic. This is why an early grasp of phonics knowledge is so important and why a phonics diagnostic screen for Australian students has been supported by many language experts.
It is worth pointing out that England have adopted such a screen and the early signs of its effectiveness are extremely positive. As measured by PIRLS, another international test, the reading performance of the most vulnerable children has improved since its introduction.
Presumably, Sahlberg is not simply opposed to the screen but to the phonics instruction associated with it; instruction that is often playful and that my own children rather enjoyed. On Twitter, he suggested to me that he does not intend to tell Australia to do what Finland has done: My mission is not to tell anyone "you should do what Finland has done!
If Sahlberg wishes to make these arguments then he should be upfront about this and expect many of us to disagree. I look forward to taking him up on his suggestion that we meet and discuss these issues. The fact that Sahlberg draws authority from Finland presents us with a further problem.