education in Finland

Finland’s education system has received a lot of international attention from educators the last decade or so. I’ve read much of it with great interest, being a Finn, a former teacher as well as a parent. I’m also a product of the Canadian education system which is rated as fairly good but has much room for improvement especially in education for immigrants, first nations and the learning-challenged even as constant cuts in funding of education take place.

Besides the excellent results of ‘no child left behind’, most remarkable is that all teachers have at least a masters degree, have freedom to teach as they wish and have the highest support and respect from governments and parents, unlike here in Canada and the USA, and yet education still costs less in Finland.

There’s much more so please read this article in the Smithsonian magazine. It is the best in-depth one that I have seen and I recommend it to anyone interested in education. Is education not the most important thing each country needs to provide for its young people and immigrants, and the best investment for the country’s future? Many thanks to Gabriolan for the link.

Related links:
A series of articles called Finland Diary by Robert G. Kaiser for the Washington Post in 2005, which I wrote about here.

Addendum: We purchased and read Pasi Sahlberg’s Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? Excellent – well worth a read if you are interested in education. The main conclusion would be that there would have to be quite a cultural change in order to achieve a major transformation in the education system in Canada, USA and many other countries. Private schools, charter schools and the like are not the answer.

August 29, 2011 in Books, Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric by Marja-Leena