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#1
The Finns are as surprised as much as anyone else that they have recently emerged as the new rock stars of global education. It surprises them because they do as little measuring and testing as they can get away with. They just don't believe it does much good. They did, however, decide to participate in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), run by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). And to put it in a way that would make the noncompetitive Finns cringe, they kicked major butt. The Finns have participated in the global survey four times and have usually placed among the top three finishers in reading, math and science.

In the latest PISA survey, in 2009, Finland placed second in science literacy, third in mathematics and second in reading. The U.S. came in 15th in reading, close to the OECD average, which is where most of the U.S.'s results fell.

Finland's only real rivals are the Asian education powerhouses South Korea and Singapore, whose drill-heavy teaching methods often recall those of the old Soviet-bloc Olympic-medal programs. Indeed, a recent manifesto by Chinese-American mother Amy Chua, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, chides American parents for shrinking from the pitiless discipline she argues is necessary to turn out great students. Her book has led many to wonder whether the cure is worse than the disease.


...


Finland has a number of smart ideas about how to teach kids while letting them be kids. For instance, one teacher ideally stays with a class from first grade through sixth grade. That way the teacher has years to learn the quirks of a particular group and tailor the teaching approach accordingly.

But Finland's sweeping success is largely due to one big, not-so-secret weapon: its teachers. "It's the quality of the teaching that is driving Finland's results," says the OECD's Schleicher. "The U.S. has an industrial model where teachers are the means for conveying a prefabricated product. In Finland, the teachers are the standard."

That's one reason so many Finns want to become teachers, which provides a rich talent pool that Finland filters very selectively. In 2008, the latest year for which figures are available, 1,258 undergrads applied for training to become elementary-school teachers. Only 123, or 9.8%, were accepted into the five-year teaching program. That's typical. There's another thing: in Finland, every teacher is required to have a master's degree. (The Finns call this a master's in kasvatus, which is the same word they use for a mother bringing up her child.) Annual salaries range from about $40,000 to $60,000, and teachers work 190 days a year.

"It's very expensive to educate all of our teachers in five-year programs, but it helps make our teachers highly respected and appreciated," says Jari Lavonen, head of the department of teacher education at the University of Helsinki. Outsiders spot this quickly. "Their teachers are much better prepared to teach physics than we are, and then the Finns get out of the way. You don't buy a dog and bark for it," says Dan MacIsaac, a specialist in physics-teacher education at the State University of New York at Buffalo who visited Finland for two months. "In the U.S., they treat teachers like pizza delivery boys and then do efficiency studies on how well they deliver the pizza."




Full Article here: http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,2062419,00.html
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#2
I lived in Finland for 4 years, and the difference in public schooling between there and Italy is massive. I went to a private English school, but you could see how the system really worked.

As an example, here in Italy, knowing how to speak two languages is considered exceptional. In Finland, knowing how to speak three languages fluently is the norm.

Forza Juve


'e voglia 'e mettere rum, chi nasce strunz' nun po' addiventà babbà
#4
That's amazing, that's really really amazing. I always held criticism for the really relentless pressure that the Asian education systems placed on the kids - on the one hand, it made sure they were excellent students, made them disciplined and taught them that hard work was and should be ubiquitous. On the other hand...well, I won't explore it's disadvantages too much. Western education on the other hand seems to de-emphasise the actual amount of learning done in order to teach better life and study skills to kids.

Finland seems to have got the best of both worlds, and results that can't be argued with. That's amazing. Good on them, I really hope other countries adopt that model.
#5
lol Finland. Lousy drunks. Get a pigment.
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
#6
Either way, I would bet Steve Jobs' next paycheck that I would prefer it to the UK's system. ExamsexamsexamstestexamsexamstesttestexamsDEGREE......no job guaranteed, back to parent's house to live off benefits.
Scandinavia always did have the right idea when it came to most things though
#9
Wish I lived in Finland. Less tests and exams would be amazing.

Sort-of related:


You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.



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#12
Quote by WhiskeyFace
Why is it the countries around that region that tend to do everything right?


Social democratic countries who did not partake in the WWII.

Yeah I said it.
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
#13
Quote by ethan_hanus
Sounds about right, the reason we have such shitty teachers in America is the damn teachers union, wont get rid of the bad teachers, and everyone is convinced that somehow more money is going to make kids smarter somehow.

Finnish teachers are very heavily unionised. They are also better paid than in the USA.

http://www.oaj.fi/portal/page?_pageid=515,452376&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
Last edited by Ur all $h1t at Apr 16, 2011,
#15
Wish the UK did something like this I thought school was ****ing joke. I went to the 17th best state school in the country (I think) and the only reason we got such good results was because they just taught us how to do the tests.

Even coursework which is supposed to show your ability to work on your own was just spoonfed to us.

I mean it had great pass rates and everything and obviously everyone comes away going to good universities and with good qualifications but what's the point when you come to later life and your job isn't taking tests but is to apply your knowledge?
#16
Quote by WhiskeyFace
Why is it the countries around that region that tend to do everything right?

The end of the article pretty much gives a good reason as to why:

"Finland is a society based on equity," says Laukkanen. "Japan and Korea are highly competitive societies — if you're not better than your neighbor, your parents pay to send you to night school. In Finland, outperforming your neighbor isn't very important. Everybody is average, but you want that average to be very high."

This principle has gone far toward making Finland an educational overachiever. In the 2006 PISA science results, Finland's worst students did 80% better than the OECD average for the worst group; its brightest did only 50% better than the average for bright students. "Raising the average for the bottom rungs has had a profound effect on the overall result," says MacIsaac.

Some of Finland's educational policies could probably be exported, but it's questionable whether the all-for-one-and-one-for-all-ness that underlies them would travel easily. Thailand, for instance, is trying to adapt the Finnish model to its own school system. But as soon as a kid falls behind, parents send for a private tutor — something that would be unthinkable in Finland. Is Thailand's Finnish experiment working? "Not really," says Lavonen. Would that it could, in Thailand and elsewhere.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#17
Quote by BlacksailsTippa
The swedish speaking finns are worse at school than the finnish speaking ones, or so I've heard.


That is a lie.

Quote by Ur all $h1t
Laukkanen.


lol my old Hunter on World of Warcraft's name.
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
Last edited by JohnnyGenzale at Apr 16, 2011,
#19
Quote by frankv
The more prestigious a job, the better people are at it. "I'll just become a teacher then," is a phrase used way too often here.

Yep. When you treat teachers like shit you get shitty teachers, shouldn't be a surprise really.
I'm always amazed at how little respect and remuneration teachers get, given how important a job it is.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#20
If the Nordic countries joined together and formed a nation, it'd be one of the ten greatest economies in the world.

I say we do it. We have Norway with the oil and cash, Sweden with the women, strong finances and general awesomeness and Finland with their superior educational system. And then we have Denmark with...uh... I don't know, and Iceland with their volcanoes who can just shut down Europe anytime the Nordic Empire (working title) wants it to.
Quote by Ichikurosaki
sloth is hacking away feebly at the grass because he is a sloth but he was trying so hard ;_; hes all "penguin im HERE i am here to help you penguin"
#22
Quote by Demon Wolf
If the Nordic countries joined together and formed a nation, it'd be one of the ten greatest economies in the world.

I say we do it. We have Norway with the oil and cash, Sweden with the women, strong finances and general awesomeness and Finland with their superior educational system. And then we have Denmark with...uh... I don't know, and Iceland with their volcanoes who can just shut down Europe anytime the Nordic Empire (working title) wants it to.

I say we leave Denmark out. Denmark is a silly place that should not be on the map.
Quote by korinaflyingv
On the come up we were listening to Grateful Dead and the music started passing through my bowel and out my arsehole as this violet stream of light. I shat music. It was beautiful.
#23
I heard that a few years back. Norway Finland and Denmark were 3 of like the top 15 happiest places to live
#24
Quote by benn913
I heard that a few years back. Norway Finland and Denmark were 3 of like the top 15 happiest places to live

Finland is not a happy place, and it has a very cynical and pessimistic population.

They also have very weird people.

Still awesome though.
Quote by korinaflyingv
On the come up we were listening to Grateful Dead and the music started passing through my bowel and out my arsehole as this violet stream of light. I shat music. It was beautiful.
#26
Quote by Ur all $h1t
Yep. When you treat teachers like shit you get shitty teachers, shouldn't be a surprise really.
I'm always amazed at how little respect and remuneration teachers get, given how important a job it is.

Teenagers are utter dicks towards most teachers. I know, because I participated in that. My level of dickishness depended entirely on the quality of the teacher though, so it was kind of fair...
#27
Quote by frankv
Teenagers are utter dicks towards most teachers. I know, because I participated in that. My level of dickishness depended entirely on the quality of the teacher though, so it was kind of fair...

Some of my mates are teachers. They don't really care about teenagers being dicks, it's the perception of their job by people in general that bothers them.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#28
We had a finnish exchange student one year, he could speak at least 4 languages, and was all around an very intelligent guy.

I was jealous.
#29
Nobody ever listens, but I still believe the problem with American education is that we've been brainwashed by the media into believing that being a successful student makes you a "nerd" and is therefore undesirable.
I'm rgrockr and I do not approve of this message.
#30
Scandinavia rocks
Look!

Learn how to spell, grammar is your friend

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Blues player of the Laney Cult
#31
Quote by rgrockr
Nobody ever listens, but I still believe the problem with American education is that we've been brainwashed by the media into believing that being a successful student makes you a "nerd" and is therefore undesirable.

They have media in Finland, and everywhere else too; a substantial proportion of it American.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#32
Quote by gunther_sucks
We had a finnish exchange student one year, he could speak at least 4 languages, and was all around an very intelligent guy.

I was jealous.



We had an exchange student from Russia once; she was supposedly a genius - knew five different languages, had already graduated and been placed ahead in the Russian education system, etc.


But I think there's a culture/intelligence barrier. Why do I say so? Well, my friend and I watched the movie "Cloverfield" with her and were able to convince her that it ACTUALLY HAPPENED in New York in the 90's.

She believed us for a few days before we told her the truth. She was so angry.
Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.


-Jimi Hendrix-

Quote by CodySG
You know you're in the drug thread when you see pictures of squash and "tuna nigga!" when you click the page.
#34
Quote by Burgery
I say we leave Denmark out. Denmark is a silly place that should not be on the map.

Agreed. Something's rotten there.
I think we took too many drugs when we were kids,
'cause now we like to make
Weird Music
-Wayne Coyne
#36
Quote by Demon Wolf
If the Nordic countries joined together and formed a nation, it'd be one of the ten greatest economies in the world.

I say we do it. We have Norway with the oil and cash, Sweden with the women, strong finances and general awesomeness and Finland with their superior educational system. And then we have Denmark with...uh... I don't know, and Iceland with their volcanoes who can just shut down Europe anytime the Nordic Empire (working title) wants it to.


Denmark has the most underage drinking, and the most annoying language.

Maybe we can use that somehow to make the empire stronger?
#37
That education system seems quite good. A lot of good practical ideas and it seems that the teachers are of an extremely high quality. However, what is conveniently not mentioned in the article is the fact that intelligence is largely genetic and the fact that some nation's children do better than another's will largely be because of natural differences in intelligence.
#38
Quote by pwnerer
Related to this topic: I read that Finnish school students are the most unhappy students in the world... I have no source atm...

That's the entire Finnish population. Not just school students.

No wonder there's so much good Doom Metal from there.
Quote by korinaflyingv
On the come up we were listening to Grateful Dead and the music started passing through my bowel and out my arsehole as this violet stream of light. I shat music. It was beautiful.
#40
Quote by Nosferatu Man
That education system seems quite good. A lot of good practical ideas and it seems that the teachers are of an extremely high quality. However, what is conveniently not mentioned in the article is the fact that intelligence is largely genetic and the fact that some nation's children do better than another's will largely be because of natural differences in intelligence.


Except that the exact genetic factor in current (troublesome) measurements of intelligence has not been established. Meaning your prediction that it correlates closely with ethnicity is based on very little.
Quote by Nosferatu Man

T-shirts are a sign of degeneration and decline.
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