Finns and education

Finnish flagThe announcement of a forthcoming seminar at the Institute, being presented jointly by the IOE, the Finnish Institute in London, the Finnish Embassy, and the University of Helsinki, reminded me that there is also American interest in the success of Finnish education. Two publications we added to the library last year have looked at Finland from a US perspective:

  • The Finland phenomenon : inside the world’s most surprising school system – this DVD, presented by Tony Wagner (Co-Director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education), looks at the education system of Finland, and contrasts the country’s educational outcomes with those of the USA. The documentary features footage shot in a variety of schools in Helsinki and Sipoo. Wagner also talks with Finnish educationalists and students.
  • Finnish lessons : what can the world learn from educational change in Finland?
    by Pasi Sahlberg – this book traces the development of education policies in Finland and highlights how they differ from those of the United States and other industrialised countries. Sahlberg also shows how, rather than relying on competition, choice, and external testing of students, education reforms in Finland have focused on professionalising teachers’ work, developing instructional leadership in schools, and building trust in teachers and schools.
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