Jump to content

The Finland phenomenon


PlanMaestro
 Share

Recommended Posts

Seems like the thing to do is just to hire smart people to be teachers, pay them well, and get out of their way.

 

The only thing I don't like about it is that they seem to insist on putting all the students in one group, regardless of ability.  The only time they mention splitting them up is when they need to give extra help to the poorer students.  I think it makes sense to let gifted kids work ahead of the others so that they can reach their full potential.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  I think it makes sense to let gifted kids work ahead of the others so that they can reach their full potential.

I disagree. Keeping the "gifted" kids together with the rest of the class not only keeps them grounded and teaches them patience, it allows them to develop other skills such as relationship building, teaching other students, and communication skills.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's probably true but I would argue that it would probably hinder their progress in their subjects.  If you have the next Einstein sitting in the class with the rest of the kids going over inclined planes when he could already be studying string theory, I think the world might be worse off than if you just let him be a socially awkward genius who figures out cold fusion.  I say give them a test and if they already know it, let them move on to the next thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kind of feel like the school stuff is one of those things like universal healthcare and gun control where the US pro-freedom and pro-capitalism culture will mean that addressing the issues is politically impossible.  Many of the answers are already known, but they won't get traction in the USA because they're culturally unpalatable.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kind of feel like the school stuff is one of those things like universal healthcare and gun control where the US pro-freedom and pro-capitalism culture will mean that addressing the issues is politically impossible.  Many of the answers are already known, but they won't get traction in the USA because they're culturally unpalatable.

Fair point. Although I think in terms of the grand scheme of things, the "answers" will win out as people realize they must either adapt or be made irrelevant. Societies can fend off innovation for only so long.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seems like the thing to do is just to hire smart people to be teachers, pay them well, and get out of their way.

 

It is a little more complicated than that:

 

* How to avoid free riding? you need a professional ethos, where you can trust the teachers and avoid measurement.

 

* How to build a continuous improvement process? this reminds me a lot of Japanese Total Quality, and as the US automakers showed, it takes decades for the necessary cultural change.

 

* How do you built standardization at the teacher level in a decentralized post-graduate system, like the American and Latin American one? It needs a lot of government involvement, some would say socialistic.

 

* How can it be scaled w/o the social glue of a small country with uniform ethnicity?

 

… and those are just a few. That's why I wished they had discussed a lot more about the history of how Finland got there. For example, I don't see the Mexican teacher's union not making a mess of a plan like this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I disagree. Keeping the "gifted" kids together with the rest of the class not only keeps them grounded and teaches them patience, it allows them to develop other skills such as relationship building, teaching other students, and communication skills.

 

The above is the politically correct mantra espoused by the Federal Gov't run US educational system and is based and motivated by a need not to make less gifted children feel "inferior". Well the reality is that some people are more gifted than others, period. Face up to it. Holding these people back because of the "feelings" of the other less gifted is a detriment to the advancement of our culture and society. I suspect this dumbing down phenomena is why America's educational system is scrapping the bottom of the scale versus other developed countries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The above is the politically correct mantra espoused by the Federal Gov't run US educational system and is based and motivated by a need not to make less gifted children feel "inferior". Well the reality is that some people are more gifted than others, period. Face up to it. Holding these people back because of the "feelings" of the other less gifted is a detriment to the advancement of our culture and society. I suspect this dumbing down phenomena is why America's educational system is scrapping the bottom of the scale versus other developed countries.

My point is that while a child may be gifted in certain tasks (math, writing, etc.) there may be other aspects which he is less gifted in (i.e. relationship building, social skills, teamwork etc.).

 

There are quite a few academically gifted but socially awkward teenagers out there, at least there was when I was in middle/high school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The above is the politically correct mantra espoused by the Federal Gov't run US educational system and is based and motivated by a need not to make less gifted children feel "inferior". Well the reality is that some people are more gifted than others, period. Face up to it. Holding these people back because of the "feelings" of the other less gifted is a detriment to the advancement of our culture and society. I suspect this dumbing down phenomena is why America's educational system is scrapping the bottom of the scale versus other developed countries.

My point is that while a child may be gifted in certain tasks (math, writing, etc.) there may be other aspects which he is less gifted in (i.e. relationship building, social skills, teamwork etc.).

 

There are quite a few academically gifted but socially awkward teenagers out there, at least there was when I was in middle/high school.

 

Relationship building, social skills, and teamwork skill building does not occur during class. At least, not in a functional class. It occurs after class activities, sports, etc.  The key is requiring students to be both active in school and in after school activities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...