Finland’s Education Phenomenon


“The Finland Phenomemon” (Trailer)

Excerpt from “The Finland Phenomemon: Inside the world’s most surprising school system”,  By E.D. Kain,  Forbes, May 2, 2011

 The Finland Phenomenon, from documentary filmmaker, Bob Compton, follows Dr. Tony Wagner through Finland’s extraordinary school system. It’s a short, to-the-point documentary, but it had quite an effect on me, if only because it illustrates so succinctly why our recent approach to education reform is so wrong-headed.

In Finland there are no standardized tests. In fact, there is really very little testing at all. Finnish teachers are not monitored or rated based on test scores, and teachers (as well as their students) have a great deal of autonomy. It is a system built on trust, and the film really drives home the notion that trust – rather than faux accountability – leads to real results, leads to teachers and students and members of government all wanting to live up to the trust given to them rather than simply scraping by.

Read the full article at Forbes.


Excerpt from “Education in Finland” 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 2 December 2011

The Finnish education system is an egalitarian Nordic system, with no tuition fees and with free meals served to full-time students. The present Finnish education system consists of well-funded and carefully thought out daycare programs (for babies and toddlers) and a one-year “pre-school” (or kindergarten for six-year olds); a nine-year compulsory basic comprehensive school (starting at age seven and ending at the age of sixteen); post-compulsory secondary general academic and vocational education; higher education (University and Polytechnical); and adult (lifelong, continuing) education. The Nordic strategy for achieving equality and excellence in education has been based on constructing a publicly funded comprehensive school system without selecting, tracking, or streaming students during their common basic education. Part of the strategy has been to spread the school network so that pupils have a school near their homes whenever possible or, if this is not feasible, e.g. in rural areas, to provide free transportation to more widely dispersed schools. Inclusive special education within the classroom and instructional efforts to minimize low achievement are also typical of Nordic educational systems.

Read the full article at Wikipedia.

Excerpt from : The Children Must Play: What the United States could learn from Finland about education reform”

By Samuel E Abrams,  The New Republic, January 28, 2011

While observing recess outside the Kallahti Comprehensive School on the eastern edge of Helsinki on a chilly day in April 2009, I asked Principal Timo Heikkinen if students go out when it’s very cold. Heikkinen said they do. I then asked Heikkinen if they go out when it’s very, very cold. Heikkinen smiled and said, “If minus 15 [Celsius] and windy, maybe not, but otherwise, yes. The children can’t learn if they don’t play. The children must play.”

In comparison to the United States and many other industrialized nations, the Finns have implemented a radically different model of educational reform—based on a balanced curriculum and professionalization, not testing. Not only do Finnish educational authorities provide students with far more recess than their U.S. counterparts—75 minutes a day in Finnish elementary schools versus an average of 27 minutes in the U.S.—but they also mandate lots of arts and crafts, more learning by doing, rigorous standards for teacher certification, higher teacher pay, and attractive working conditions. This is a far cry from the U.S. concentration on testing in reading and math since the enactment of No Child Left Behind in 2002, which has led school districts across the country, according to a survey by the Center on Education Policy, to significantly narrow their curricula. And the Finns’ efforts are paying off: In December, the results from the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an exam in reading, math, and science given every three years since 2000 to approximately 5,000 15-year-olds per nation around the world, revealed that, for the fourth consecutive time, Finnish students posted stellar scores. The United States, meanwhile, lagged in the middle of the pack.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama outlined his plans for reforming U.S. public education, including distributing competitive grants, raising test scores, and holding teachers accountable for student achievement. But there is much Finland can teach America’s reformers, and the rest of the world, about what outside of testing and rigid modes of management and assessment can make a nation’s schools truly excellent.

Read the full article at The New Republic.

Excerpt from “An Interview with Henna Virkkunen, Finland’s Minister of Education”

By Justin Snider, The Hecklinger Report, March 16, 2011

The Hechinger Report:  It’s well-known that Finland’s teachers are an elite bunch, with only top students offered the chance to become teachers. It’s also no secret that they are well-trained. But take us inside that training for a moment – what does it look like, specifically? How does teacher training in Finland differ from teacher training in other countries?

Virkkunen: It’s a difficult question. Our teachers are really good. One of the main reasons they are so good is because the teaching profession is one of the most famous careers in Finland, so young people want to become teachers. In Finland, we think that teachers are key for the future and it’s a very important profession—and that’s why all of the young, talented people want to become teachers. All of the teacher-training is run by universities in Finland, and all students do a five-year master’s degree.  Because they are studying at the university, teacher education is research-based. Students have a lot of supervised teacher-training during their studies. We have something called “training schools”—normally next to universities—where the student teaches and gets feedback from a trained supervisor.

Teachers in Finland can choose their own teaching methods and materials. They are experts of their own work, and they test their own pupils. I think this is also one of the reasons why teaching is such an attractive profession in Finland because teachers are working like academic experts with their own pupils in schools.

Read the full interview at The Hechinger Report.


Excerpt from “Finnish Lesson #3: What we can learn from Educational change in Finland”  

By Pasi Sahlberg, The Pasi Sahlberg Blog, November 5, 2011

…the first lesson that Finland offers to other educational reformers is that whole-system reform can be successful only if it is inspiring to all involved and thereby energizes people to work together for intended improvement. I often use the thinking of Martin Luther King as an example of an inspiring dream that moves people. Dr. King’s dream was not that his country would have a 5-percent annual economic growth rate. That wouldn’t have inspired many people. Similarly, making a country number one in PISA rankings doesn’t excite too many educators. The Finnish Dream since the 1970s has been to provide a good public school for every child in the country. This goal inspired many and was a source of energy that was needed to push through necessary political and educational changes. It was powerful enough to bring different people and political groups to join forces for fulfillment of this dream. The Finnish Dream looks like the dream of John F. Kennedy in 1961: to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. It was challenging, required hard work and political consensus, but in the end rewarded the entire nation through its outcomes.

Second, some observers have concluded that the secret of Finnish educational success is its well-trained teachers. Yes, it is true that teachers and leaders have higher academic education in Finland than in many other countries. But that alone is not the way to whole-system change. What is significant in the Finnish approach is that it has focused on improving the professional knowledge and skills of teachers and leaders as a collective group, not only as individuals, which is the common practice in many current reform programs elsewhere. Finnish teachers learn to work together with other teachers…

Read the full post at The Pasi Sahlberg Blog.

Finland’s Education Phenomenon, contributed by EduDesigns correspondent C. G. Blick, December 16, 2011

Ruth Elliott,  EDU Designs Director

Except as otherwise noted, © Edu Designs 2011.

Edu Designs is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which produces and distributes multimedia materials for the education, motivation and character development of children.

Get Free Email Updates!

Signup now and receive a free download of Ruth's Illustrated Behavior Charts!

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.


EDU Designs is a non profit organization whose mission is to produce and distribute multimedia materials for the education, motivation and character development of children.
This entry was posted in behavior, Character Development, Child Development, Children, Education, Ethics and Character, Psychology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

84 Responses to Finland’s Education Phenomenon

  1. Brian says:

    Many cooks spoil the broth.

  2. Candida says:

    Out of sight, out of mind.

  3. Markus says:

    Give him an inch and he will take a yard (mile).

  4. I figured that the more I read, the smarter I get. You might want to add it to your site

  5. Erna says:

    love the site, very nice and meaningful, keep it up.

  6. Edgar says:

    never heard of something like this.

  7. Nick says:

    Remarkable advice! I have been looking for something such as this for a time now. Bless you!

  8. Cristen says:

    It is always difficult to get educated individuals on this topic, nevertheless, you be understood as you are aware of what you are writing on! Thank you

  9. Porter says:

    Very good related information! I have been looking for anything similar to this for a while currently. Excellent!

  10. Helene says:

    greetings, wonderful article, and an excellent understand! at least one for my favorites.

  11. Tessa says:

    hi there, wonderful weblog, and a really good understand! 1 for my book marks.

  12. Ray says:

    I literally knew about nearly all of this, but never the less, I still believed it had been valuable. Sweet task!

  13. Lauran says:

    Absolutely love the modern layout. I loved the information. Credit for a superb write.

  14. Timmy says:

    I basically learned about almost all of this, but with that said, I still considered it turned out helpful. Sweet post!

  15. Helaine says:

    This is a thing I must do more research into, many thanks for the publish.

  16. Jeffie says:

    Excellent page, I am browsing back again usually to find updates.

  17. Marna says:

    hi there, great blog, and a really good understand! one for my bookmarking.

  18. Marcelino says:

    What i don’t realize is actually how you are now not actually much more well-liked than you may be right now. You’re very intelligent. You understand thus significantly on the subject of this matter, made me personally believe it from so many various angles. Its like women and men are not fascinated except it¡¦s one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs great. At all times handle it up!

  19. Madalyn says:

    A person essentially assist to make significantly articles I’d state. That is the very first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to create this actual post extraordinary. Great process!

  20. Sang says:

    I’m still learning from you, while I’m improving myself. I certainly liked reading all that is written on your site.Keep the stories coming. I enjoyed it!

  21. Yelena says:

    Thank you for every other magnificent article. Where else could anyone get that type of information in such an ideal approach of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

  22. Michal says:

    I and also my buddies happened to be checking out the best helpful tips found on the blog while suddenly I got a horrible feeling I never expressed respect to the web site owner for those techniques. Most of the people became absolutely warmed to read them and now have honestly been making the most of these things. We appreciate you getting so helpful and for finding this form of awesome guides millions of individuals are really desirous to know about. My very own honest apologies for not expressing appreciation to sooner.

  23. Queenie says:

    I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I am quite certain I will learn a lot of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  24. Neta says:

    Very well written information. It will be useful to anyone who utilizes it, including me. Keep doing what you are doing – looking forward to more posts.

  25. Lavonda says:

    It is in point of fact a nice and helpful piece of information. I¡¦m glad that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Erasmo says:

    I really appreciate this post. I¡¦ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thx again

  27. Jackie says:

    Thank you for every other wonderful article. The place else may just anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal method of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m on the search for such information.

  28. Julian says:

    Well I sincerely liked studying it. This tip procured by you is very practical for correct planning.

  29. Tyron says:

    Hey very cool site!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds also¡KI am satisfied to find so many helpful information here within the put up, we need work out extra strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  30. Roxie says:

    Hey, you used to write magnificent, but the last several posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your super writings. Past few posts are just a little out of track! come on!

  31. Brinda says:

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  32. Tory says:

    I simply couldn’t depart your web site before suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard info a person provide on your guests? Is gonna be again regularly to check out new posts

  33. Orlando says:

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such magnificent information being shared freely out there.

  34. Jewell says:

    Great weblog here! Also your site loads up very fast! What host are you using? Can I get your associate hyperlink on your host? I desire my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  35. Oren says:

    I truly wanted to make a small comment to thank you for all the remarkable ways you are posting at this site. My particularly long internet search has finally been recognized with incredibly good strategies to go over with my best friends. I ‘d suppose that most of us visitors actually are very much lucky to exist in a decent community with many outstanding individuals with great methods. I feel extremely happy to have discovered your entire web pages and look forward to so many more enjoyable moments reading here. Thanks a lot once more for all the details.

  36. Delorse says:

    Great write-up, I¡¦m regular visitor of one¡¦s web site, maintain up the excellent operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

  37. Malcolm says:

    I intended to put you this bit of remark to finally thank you so much again considering the splendid pointers you’ve contributed on this site. It’s so wonderfully generous of you to convey unreservedly precisely what a few people would’ve distributed for an electronic book in order to make some bucks on their own, particularly since you could possibly have done it if you considered necessary. These smart ideas additionally worked to become fantastic way to be sure that many people have the same dreams like my very own to realize a lot more with regards to this issue. Certainly there are thousands of more pleasurable periods ahead for people who look over your website.

  38. Daren says:

    fantastic issues altogether, you simply gained a new reader. What could you recommend about your submit that you simply made some days in the past? Any sure?

  39. Cristen says:

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  40. Shakita says:

    I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty. You’re incredible! Thanks!

  41. Ethyl says:

    Thanks a lot for giving everyone remarkably wonderful opportunity to read in detail from here. It’s usually so pleasant plus stuffed with amusement for me and my office friends to visit your web site a minimum of thrice every week to study the new things you have got. And lastly, we are at all times pleased concerning the effective tricks you serve. Some 1 facts in this post are undoubtedly the finest I have had.

  42. Adam says:

    I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on few general things, The site style is great, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  43. Cliff says:

    It¡¦s actually a cool and helpful piece of info. I¡¦m satisfied that you shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  44. Jonathan says:

    Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Very useful info specifically the last part :) I care for such info much. I was seeking this particular info for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  45. Bart says:

    Very well written information. It will be helpful to everyone who usess it, as well as me. Keep doing what you are doing – can’r wait to read more posts.

  46. Shayna says:

    My brother suggested I might like this website. He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  47. Frederick says:

    I like what you guys are up also. Such intelligent work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I¡¦ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my website :)

  48. Bert says:

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you really understand what you’re speaking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my website =). We could have a hyperlink alternate arrangement among us!

  49. Rudolf says:

    My husband and i ended up being really glad Jordan could carry out his research with the ideas he obtained using your blog. It’s not at all simplistic to simply possibly be giving away tactics which many others might have been making money from. And we all figure out we now have the website owner to give thanks to for this. The specific explanations you made, the simple blog navigation, the relationships you will assist to create – it is many powerful, and it’s leading our son in addition to the family reason why the situation is fun, and that’s wonderfully fundamental. Thanks for everything!

  50. Refugio says:

    I enjoy you because of every one of your hard work on this site. Gloria loves getting into investigation and it’s really simple to grasp why. A number of us learn all of the powerful form you present informative guidance by means of your web site and as well as foster participation from the others about this subject matter and our girl is undoubtedly being taught so much. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the year. You’re the one carrying out a stunning job.

  51. Troy says:

    I wanted to write down a small message to be able to express gratitude to you for the remarkable strategies you are posting on this website. My time intensive internet search has at the end of the day been honored with good quality content to write about with my partners. I would suppose that we website visitors actually are rather fortunate to be in a superb community with many marvellous individuals with insightful opinions. I feel extremely blessed to have come across your site and look forward to some more fun times reading here. Thanks a lot again for a lot of things.

  52. Janiece says:

    Good day very cool website!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally¡KI’m happy to search out numerous helpful info right here within the publish, we’d like work out more strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  53. Jamel says:

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.

  54. Delmar says:

    Great ¡V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Excellent task..

  55. Cliff says:

    Hello. excellent job. I did not expect this. This is a remarkable story. Thanks!

  56. Connie says:

    Good blog! I truly love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I could be notified when a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

  57. Teddy says:

    I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

  58. Leona says:

    As a Newbie, I am constantly exploring online for articles that can aid me. Thank you

  59. Bobbi says:

    I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  60. Stefan says:

    I¡¦ve read a few just right stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much attempt you set to make the sort of excellent informative website.

  61. Hugo says:

    Hi there, You have done a fantastic job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this site.

  62. Robin says:

    Wow, superb weblog structure! How long have you been running a blog for? you made running a blog look easy. The full glance of your website is wonderful, let alone the content material!

  63. Palmira says:

    I definitely wanted to make a simple word to be able to thank you for those awesome items you are sharing at this site. My rather long internet look up has at the end of the day been paid with reliable insight to exchange with my close friends. I ‘d declare that we site visitors are rather fortunate to exist in a very good site with very many perfect individuals with beneficial solutions. I feel somewhat privileged to have encountered your entire website and look forward to so many more awesome times reading here. Thank you again for all the details.

  64. Chu says:

    Excellent blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  65. Lorelei says:

    Thanks for every other great article. The place else may anyone get that kind of info in such a perfect manner of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the search for such information.

  66. Elza says:

    Great paintings! That is the type of information that are meant to be shared around the web. Shame on Google for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my website . Thank you =)

  67. Thanh says:

    There is perceptibly a lot to realize about this. I consider you made various nice points in features also.

  68. Niki says:

    magnificent publish, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don’t realize this. You must continue your writing. I am confident, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  69. Pa says:

    Thanks for every other magnificent post. Where else may anyone get that type of info in such a perfect means of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such info.

  70. Christie says:

    I’m still learning from you, but I’m improving myself. I certainly love reading everything that is written on your site.Keep the posts coming. I loved it!

  71. Morton says:

    There is obviously a bunch to know about this. I suppose you made certain nice points in features also.

  72. Tiffani says:

    Wow! Thank you! I continuously needed to write on my website something like that. Can I include a fragment of your post to my website?

  73. Earle says:

    Thank you for every other informative website. Where else could I am getting that kind of information written in such a perfect means? I’ve a challenge that I’m just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such info.

  74. Sunny says:

    You are a very clever person!

  75. Myron says:

    Very efficiently written post. It will be supportive to anyone who employess it, as well as yours truly :). Keep doing what you are doing – can’r wait to read more posts.

  76. Taylor says:

    Very well written article. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including myself. Keep up the good work – i will definitely read more posts.

  77. Gwyn says:

    You actually make it appear really easy along with your presentation but I in finding this matter to be really one thing which I believe I’d never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am taking a look ahead on your subsequent submit, I will attempt to get the dangle of it!

  78. Anderson says:

    I have read a few good stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much effort you put to create this type of wonderful informative web site.

  79. Carmen says:

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

  80. Neil says:

    What i do not realize is in fact how you are no longer actually a lot more neatly-appreciated than you may be now. You’re very intelligent. You understand therefore significantly in terms of this matter, made me individually believe it from numerous varied angles. Its like men and women aren’t interested until it¡¦s something to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs great. Always take care of it up!

  81. Usha says:

    Wow! This can be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Great. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  82. Hyacinth says:

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my website so i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to enhance my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  83. Magen says:

    I’m still learning from you, while I’m trying to achieve my goals. I absolutely enjoy reading everything that is posted on your blog.Keep the tips coming. I loved it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>