Finland has been hailed for exemplifying the ideal model of a thriving, innovative education system that prioritizes the most important stakeholders: students.
International and American media are fascinated by the Scandinavian country’s approach to designing the education system. The fact that Finland manages to score among the top three countries on the PISA survey is a tribute to its success, and worth following closely, observers say.
So what makes the Finland story so compelling?
- THERE ARE NO PRIVATE SCHOOLS. Technically, there are a few independent schools, but they’re financed by the state and don’t charge tuition, according to a wildly popular article in the Atlantic about the school system. “The primary aim of education is to serve as an equalizing instrument for society,” said Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, Director General of the Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation in Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture who was visiting New York. “Here in America, parents can choose to take their kids to private schools. It’s the same idea of a marketplace that applies to, say, shops. Schools are a shop and parents can buy what ever they want. In Finland parents can also choose. But the options are all the same.” The Atlantic article also notes that all Finnish students receive free meals at school, and have “easy access to health care, psychological counseling, and individualized student guidance.”
- ALL ADMINISTRATORS HAVE WORKED AS TEACHERS. “We have very carefully kept the business of education in the hands of educators. It’s practically impossible to become a superintendent without also being a former teacher,” Sahlberg told the Continue reading