William Doyle: What Makes Finnish Schools So Successful?

Diane Ravitch's blog

William Doyle recently returned from a Fulbright year in Finland, and he spent his year studying education. His own child attended a Finnish school.

He wrote about some of the lessons he learned in this article that appeared in the Hechinger Report.

Here is the big takeaway:

If you want results, try doing the opposite of what American “education reformers” think we should do in classrooms.
Instead of control, competition, stress, standardized testing, screen-based schools and loosened teacher qualifications, try warmth, collaboration, and highly professionalized, teacher-led encouragement and assessment.

When American reformers refer to “personalized learning,” they mean that every child should have his/her own laptop. Finnish teachers use the concept of “personalized learning,” but they mean person-to-person learning:

While the school has the latest technology, there isn’t a tablet or smartphone in sight, just a smart board and a teacher’s desktop.

Screens can only deliver simulations of personalized learning…

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