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What's Going On in Finland?
On April 22nd I had a Teacher In-service that included the viewing of THE FINLAND PHENOMENON:INSIDE THE WORLD'S MOST SURPRISING SCHOOL SYSTEM. As a staff, we were intrigued and surprised by many of the things that are occurring in the country.
For instance, Finland has more researchers than in any country in the world and a great deal of funds is spent on research and development. In 1960, the labor force had dropped in Finland. Consequently, the country turned into a knowledge and research society as opposed to a manufacturing and agricultural one. The effects were positive. Finnish education adopted new and innovative approaches to education. Technology was fully integrated in the schools and a much more relaxed atmosphere was implemented. Finnish education has an academic track and a vocational track. About 40%-45% take the vocational track--a high percentage. Teachers give little homework and classes are student-centered. We were particularly interested in the Master teacher-Novice teacher relationship in Finland. Master teachers work intensely with new teachers, assisting in lesson plans and offering advice on how to "give space to their students". Finland also embraces the "Less is More" concept to education. The emphasis is on quality, not quantity when it comes to conveying the material to students. Our staff, especially in the English and Social Studies Departments follow this philosophy also.
After viewing the documentary we had about an hour discussion and analyzed many of the aforementioned topics. I was pleased to listen to the comments of so many teachers. I recommend school administrators showing this documentary to their staff. The next film I'm showing is WAITING FOR SUPERMAN.
Article posted April 28, 2011 at 09:52 AM •
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I am the Dean of Academics at a private military school in central Missouri called Missouri Military Academy.
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