Thursday, July 21, 2011

What to learn from Finland


I am on vacation in San Diego at Comic-Con and loving it. The weather is beautiful, and currently thirty degrees cooler than home. Just last night  I saw a Tardis and a Delorian within ten feet of each other. I think there was some crazy 4th dimension time whirlpool action going on there.

However fun things are, my sleep schedule is attuned to Central, and I'm up at 5 a.m. local. To the internet! I found this really interesting article about Finland's education reform of the past thirty years and how it compares to America's. Find it here.

Also, Nicole had a great point about the man-dominated dystopic novels. The women in those books aren't necessarily portrayed in the most positive light, disastrously in Brave New World. I picked up The Hunger Games and will give it a read before the year. I'm also thinking about excerpts from Mary Shelley's The Last Man, critical of her own husband's Romantic movement. Collaboration folks!

Thanks and stay out of the heat!


  1. In most articles that I've read about education in Finland, PISA is mentioned. I've checked out the site ( and there is a great deal of information on the assessment, how countries compare to one another on performance, and other interesting and informative articles. I would recommend checking out the framework, that can be downloaded as a PDF (it is a huge file though!).

  2. I think it is interesting that he talks about how teachers in the US are still teaching behind closed doors. I'm not sure that that is completely the case and it seems that over-generalization isn't going to help us get to the bottom of the "professionalism" and "innovation" issues. I guess I'll have to read his book to see if he adds a little more nuance to his argument. That being said, I think we as teachers and teacher educators can learn a lot from Finland. It would be great if we, as a group, could study this case and join in on the conversation run mostly by corporations. Thanks for sharing this article!

  3. Just found your blog via Victoria Harding. I applied for the Teacher Education Program last semester, and start taking classes when I get back from India in December. It's interesting to see the perspective of one of my own past teachers on education reform. Keep writing!

  4. For me, what was really appreciated was the idea that teachers are experts in their field. I had a hand full of curriculum classes that were helpful to me, but most of the time were either not applicable or just boring. I don't know about elementary education, but I always feel more prepared to teach when I refresh or strengthen my English knowledge rather than education theory.

    Also, I don't necessarily think teachers need to be the most highly paid careers in America, but in order to cull a professional respect and to attract the top third of graduates then salary increases are a definite must.

  5. Hello! So what was the result of your summer Dystopia decision? What books did you end up reading and what will you be teaching this year? There is a current discussion on YA blogs about the lack of utopian novels coming out to balance out the dystopian ones that are coming out in droves. Never thought to ask you if you were doing a dystopia only unit or if you were doing a Dystopia vs Utopia unit. I wish I could remember the title, but in a college class that I took there was a book set in the future where a woman alternated between two realities precipitated by medication forced on her when in the dystopia and willingly taken when in the utopia as she tries to figure out her life. The questions asked by the readers was which is the true reality, one that is gritty and horrible (or nasty, brutish, and short) or could it possibly be peaceful and wonderful. Ah for a better memory...
    In the meantime, I am still very curious about your selection and reading of the novels this summer.