How Finland Created One of the Best Educational Systems in the World (by Doing the Opposite of U.S.)
Finnish students have, in the past several years, consistently ranked in the top ten among millions of students worldwide in science, reading, and math.
In Finland, says the Minister of Education, “all the schools are equal. You never ask where the best school is.” It’s also illegal in Finland to profit from schooling. Wealthy parents have to ensure that neighborhood schools can give their kids the best education possible, because they are the only option.
In Finland, no teacher “is allowed to lead a primary school class without a master’s degree in education, with specialization in research and classroom practice.” Teaching “is the most admired job in Finland next to medical doctors.” And as Dana Goldstein points out at The Nation— Finnish teachers are “gasp!—unionized and granted tenure.” Perhaps an even more significant difference the documentary glossed over: in Finland, “families benefit from a cradle-to-grave social welfare system that includes universal daycare, preschool and healthcare, all of which are proven to help children achieve better results at school.”