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Sat Feb 27, 2016, 04:34 AM

How Finland broke every rule — and created a top school system

http://hechingerreport.org/how-finland-broke-every-rule-and-created-a-top-school-system/

Children at this and other Finnish public schools are given not only basic subject instruction in math, language and science, but learning-through-play-based preschools and kindergartens, training in second languages, arts, crafts, music, physical education, ethics, and, amazingly, as many as four outdoor free-play breaks per day, each lasting 15 minutes between classes, no matter how cold or wet the weather is. Educators and parents here believe that these breaks are a powerful engine of learning that improves almost all the “metrics” that matter most for children in school – executive function, concentration and cognitive focus, behavior, well-being, attendance, physical health, and yes, test scores, too.

The homework load for children in Finland varies by teacher, but is lighter overall than most other developed countries. This insight is supported by research, which has found little academic benefit in childhood for any more than brief sessions of homework until around high school.

There are some who argue that since Finland has less socio-economic diversity than, for example, the United States, there’s little to learn here. But Finland’s success is not a “Nordic thing,” since Finland significantly out-achieves its “cultural control group” countries like Norway and Sweden on international benchmarks. And Finland’s size, immigration and income levels are roughly similar to those of a number of American states, where the bulk of education policy is implemented.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/22/still-think-america-is-the-land-of-opportunity-look-at-this-chart/?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_wonk

There are also those who would argue that this kind of approach wouldn’t work in America’s inner city schools, which instead need “no excuses,” boot-camp drilling-and-discipline, relentless standardized test prep, Stakhanovian workloads and stress-and-fear-based “rigor.”

But what if the opposite is true?

What if many of Finland’s educational practices are not cultural quirks or non-replicable national idiosyncrasies — but are instead bare-minimum global best practices that all our children urgently need, especially those children in high-poverty schools?

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Reply How Finland broke every rule — and created a top school system (Original post)
eridani Feb 2016 OP
6chars Feb 2016 #1
jtuck004 Feb 2016 #2
thesquanderer Feb 2016 #3

Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Feb 27, 2016, 05:10 AM

1. Totally right.

The US system teaches students not to think instead of thinking for themselves. As adults, we figure out that we don't have to do everything we are told, we figure out what is important and focus on it, put the most into it and get the most out of it, and sort of figure out the easiest way to get through the rest or even avoid it, so we can have more time for good things. This is the natural way we want to develop, US school tries to ingrain the opposite. Finnish schools produce adults who stress less, produce well, and have multi-dimensional lives instead of having PTSD on all sorts of levels.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Feb 27, 2016, 05:42 AM

2. John Dewey and the progressives had this same argument with the traditionalists in the

 

early 1900s, people opted for schooling over education.

Their stories are in tens of thousands of books and docs in the educational philosophy section of a university library. Interesting if one wants to figure out how we got here.

The upshot of it was that people chose control and uniformity over exploring and keeping the learning experience in the hands of the student, not killing their interest and spirit.

Could be part of the reason thee country is so afraid today.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Feb 27, 2016, 08:45 AM

3. Editing error? What is the Washington Post link doing in the middle of that? (n/t)

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