Paul P. Mealing

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Friday, 2 March 2012

Why Finland is the best (in education)

This is an interview with Pasi Sahlberg, Finnish Director of Education, who is currently visiting Australia and gives an insight into Finland’s unique and enviable position in education. For a start, teachers have the same status as doctors and are remunerated accordingly; secondly, there is no private school system; and thirdly, there is a culture of trust between teachers, administrators, students and community.

What Sahlberg reveals is that the obsession with competition between schools and with standardised testing, that drives education in other OEDC countries, are the antithesis of Finland’s education policies. The message is clear and obvious, yet I don’t expect anyone outside of Finland to heed it.


Paul C said...

Hi Paul

Thank you for this. Yes I did watch it and I have a copy of the transcript. There are many differences between the Scandinavian countries and the West. In the case of Australia, they have a very strong sense of identity and tradition, and therefore are willing and able to set their own policy platforms. They are much more social democratic and they pay much higher taxes than most other countries. By these standards, Australia is still a very immature country that is in the process of forming and gaining agreement on our national identity and place in a changing world.

Regards Paul C

Paul C said...

Hi Paul

Me again. I think the key to their maturity is that they have defined and consolidated their core values, and in this case the value they allocate to equity is more important and higher than gaining higher national scores from the OECD calculations. One of the flow-ons from this is there is likely to be more cohesion and solidarity than social unrest.

Paul C

Anonymous said...

" there is a culture of trust between teachers, administrators, students and community. " - Unfortunately this also is an environment where teachers and schools have room to defend their own self-interest in very brutal ways hurting some children badly. Dyslexic students are largely neglected and can be brutally treated by schools.

Paul P. Mealing said...

Hi Anonymous,

Do you know something about Finnish schools? Have you had experience with them?

Or are you talking about schools in general? Where did you go to school?

Regards, Paul.