Finland is hyped for having the best school system in the world. In 2010, Tony Wagner, of Harvard, was invited by the Finland National Board of Education to share his ideas about education. Bob Compton, best known for his film “Two Million Minutes”, sent a film crew with Tony and shadowed him as he visited schools, met teachers, parents, and students….the film is at last online on Vimeo! Enjoy the great documentary !!
If you want to read some more before you watch the film go to Daily Kos, there is a good summary written by “teacherken”.
Here’s an excerpt:
1. Finland does not have high stakes tests
2. Finland worked to develop a national consensus about its public schools
3. Having made a commitment to its public schools, Finland has few private schools.
4. When asked about accountability, Finns point out that they not only do not have tests, they do not have an inspectorate. They find that trusting people leads to them being accountable for themselves.
5. Finland does not have incredibly thick collections of national standards. They have small collections of broadly defined standards, and allow local implementation.
6. Qualifying to become a teacher is difficult.
7. Teachers are well trained, well supported, and given time to reflect about what they are doing, including during the school day.
8. Finns start school later in life than we do
9. Finnish students do little homework.
10. There is meaningful technical education in Finnish Schools