Yesterday, David Sirota published an article in Salon entitled “How Finland became an education leader.” The article is based on an interview he had with Harvard researcher, Tony Wagner, who narrates a new documentary called, “The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System.”
I’ve never been to Finland. I want to go. But this makes a nice follow-up to yesterday’s blog post, “Math in Singapore.”
The two reasons, as I understand it, for Finland’s success in education are:
1). Their teachers are rarely evaluated. In the 1970’s they completely changed how teachers were selected and trained. Every teacher has a masters degree. They are highly esteemed and only one-tenth of those who apply to become teachers make it into the classroom. The country trusts their teachers.
2.) Testing is deemphasized. In fact, domestic testing doesn’t exist except for an auditing program that they use to evaluate demographics.