top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Finland's secret: Teachers teach


Finland has become a mecca for miracle-seeking educators, writes Sam Chaltain on Letters from the Future (of Learning). Teaching is an elite profession: Less than one in 10 applicants for teacher education is accepted.


He visited schools "marked by an orderly, active hum, the kind that emerges only when everyone knows one’s role, responsibility and contribution."


He was disappointed by the classroom lessons he observed, which were "teacher-driven, content-heavy, 'sit and get' instruction." They were "OK," but hardly miraculous.


The Finns prioritize equity rather than innovation, Chaltain writes. The "goal is not to spark the creation of spectacular schools -- it’s to ensure an entire country of good ones."


Perhaps Finland's secret is that teachers know and teach content in the old "sage on the stage" style, rather than trying to be a "guide on the side."

1,326 views

15 Comments


Guest
Jun 04, 2023

Yes, and free college in Europe comes at the cost of the US taxpayer who foots the European defense bill. Free college doesn't necessarily mean that everyone is admitted and admission is likely very competitive.

Like
Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
Jun 04, 2023
Replying to

Admission is very competitive: to qualify for admission to subsidized universities, Swiss students have to receive the equivalent of an International Baccalaureate diploma with the equivalent of 32 points in their programme's six subjects, an achievement fewer than one in ten Americans reach by age 18, since it is roughly equivalent to passing six recognized AP exams in a broad distribution of subjects, including a second language, the lack of which keeps monolingual Americans in their cultural silos.

Like

buy
Jun 01, 2023

Finland's PISA scores have been dropping since 2006:



Like

Guest
Jun 01, 2023

A better translation is that the public schools in Finland focus on the left hand side of the Bell Curve and leave the right hand side to the tiger moms and helicopter parents.

Like

Guest
Jun 01, 2023

Kind of a sidebar to this comment. I always get a chuckle when Americans want to compare our schools to places like Finaland and Japan, and my first question is: "Great, so when do you want to start kicking the under-performing minorities out?"

Like
Guest
Jun 04, 2023
Replying to

Everyone should go review Amanda Ripley's book "The Smartest Kids in the World" to learn what other countries give up to have the education system that they have. The South Korea chapter is probably the most informative.

Like
bottom of page