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Finland’s School Success – Valuing Equality over Excellence

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Following on from my post re. Finnish media policy … Anu Partanen is a Finnish journalist based in New York City. She is writing a book about what America can learn from Nordic societies as a result of the publication of the OECD PISA 2009 report (published 2011) referencing Finland’s extraordinary rise up the international educational attainment chart.

See her assessment of the Finnish approach to education reform posted here on The Atlantic site and sourced originally via Antonio N on LinkdIn.

“… there are no private schools in Finland.”

“There’s no word for accountability in Finnish,” Sahlberg later told an audience at the Teachers College of Columbia University. “Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted.”

“For Sahlberg what matters is that in Finland all teachers and administrators are given prestige, decent pay, and a lot of responsibility.”

“There are no lists of best schools or teachers in Finland. The main driver of education policy is not competition between teachers and between schools, but cooperation.”

“Education has been seen first and foremost not as a way to produce star performers, but as an instrument to even out social inequality.”

“Decades ago, when the Finnish school system was badly in need of reform, the goal of the program that Finland instituted, resulting in so much success today, was never excellence. It was equity.”

See Michael Rosen’s post on co-operation, equity and the Finnish way here.

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