Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Finland > United States. What?? (A look at Finland's education system)

Interesting article in CNN about the top-notch education system in Finland. The article compares the education system of Finland to what we have in the United States. The article is linked below, but some highlights for you to chew on:

*Finland school districts focus on the child as a whole, not viewing each child through the lens of academic achievement and having that be the end-all. 

*Teachers in Finland have time to work with their colleagues during the school day, not having to worry about running around in the morning before school starts or trying to do something during a common lunch period. Having time to collaborate with colleagues is huge! After all, isn't that what we want our students to do? 

*Finnish teachers have half the work load as teachers in America, according to OECD.

*Every class in Finland must be followed by 15 minutes of recess to give children a chance to expend some energy. 

*School days are shorter and homework is kept to a minimum so students aren't over burdened and can spend time on hobbies and other interests.  In America, it seems like loading up on homework is the norm and the only way. I couldn't disagree with this anymore. We gave way too much homework. 

*Education in America is MUCH too defined by test scores and data. 

*Too many students in America have novice or nonprofessional teachers in their classroom. In other words, people are teaching who shouldn't be because they are terrible and the students are missing out on an opportunity to learn and grow. 

A few interesting points indeed. American can not become Finland. There are some differences between the two countries for sure. I will point out, though, that the American Education system produced Youtube, Facebook, and Google. Where would the world be without that stuff? Although, was it the educational system or just the creativity that flowed through the veins of those pioneers? I would venture to say the latter. It seems, at times, the public education systems tends to squash the creativity and free spirit of the student and teacher. What would have happened if Benjamin Franklin wouldn't have been allowed to create and explore? We'd be in the dark, that's for sure. Maybe we still are...

Here is the article in its entirety: Why Finland's schools are top-notch

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