How Finland Became an Educational Leader

As we’re nearing the end of the semester, I am taking some comfort in having a little more free time to read or watch items that have come across my radar in the past few months. One of these is the documentary The Finland PhenomenonI’ve linked below to a Salon interview with Harvard Professor Tony Wagner, who helped make the documentary. Finland’s education system is consistently ranked among the worlds best, but less than 40 years ago it was not so. The secret? Focus on teachers, both in their preparation and support. As the article puts it, “Get the teachers out of their isolated circumstances and give them time to work together.” This taps in to an idea that’s been on my mind I’ve had since before I joined the Ed. Leadership program, one that led to my commitment to the cause: that if we focus on preparing and taking care of teachers, and not assessing students, then that care will be spread to the students and strengthen the entire system. Teachers should be revered, as it is in Finland, not pitied, as it is in the United States. Not an easy task, but we have to start somewhere and sometime. So why not here, and now?

http://www.salon.com/2011/07/18/tony_wagner_finland/

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