Sunday, March 24, 2013

UnFinnished Business, by Pasi Sahlberg

UnFinnished Business, by Pasi Sahlberg

With apologies and hope for me and all my fellow teachers:

"...across more than two decades of educational reform, the United States, like many other Anglo-Saxon nations, has epitomized Einstein's definition of madness: keep doing the same thing while expecting a different result. Force, pressure, shame, top-down intervention, markets, competition, standardization, testing, and easier and quicker passages into teaching, closure of failing schools, the firing of ineffective teachers and principals, and fresh starts with young teachers and newly established  schools -- the very reform strategies that have failed dismally over two decades in many Anglo-Saxon nations -- are being reinvented and re-imposed and with even greater force and determination."

Pasi Sahlberg
from the forward to his book "Finnish Lessons" about the last sixty years of education reform in Finland, and why many are using the Finnish model as a basis for positive change.\fd78uhjnb `
I better go ahead and retract the apology. I do not regret posting Mr. Sahlberg's words and my own. I only regret the urgent necessity of them. Our schools are on fire, with few exceptions. The few of my peers who voice positive statements about their institutions can be counted on either hand.

Notes from the YouTube video and the book (I am enjoying them concurrently)

Mr. Pasi Sahlberg (PS) talks about Finland in the shade of the U.S. and Sweden. Not being a dominant land like ours, Finland has never sought to conquer, but only survive wars and occupation in their precarious position on the edge of Asia, Europe, Russia (USSR), and Sweden. They country-wide have consistently supported the idea that the best way -- the best tool -- for long-term survival is education. ( In this country we say that, but generally, our students are left on their own, and many leave education only hating it for having wasted their time. )

"Finally we are now in a situation where Finland is a part of the European Union, having deep financial problems and many challenges to survival. We quickly learned that the best thing is to cultivate your mind and to pray."

  •  There is a literacy test as a part of the Swedish marriage license process. You must read to get married. 

Linus is Finnish.

Angry Birds are Finnish.

Newsweek says the best country in the world is Finland.

All education is paid for by taxes. Even for foreign students.

Children begin education at age seven. Before that it is up to them to educate their children.

Much more later.

DD out

UnFinnished Business, by Pasi Sahlberg

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