Results 1 to 15 of 19

Thread: Why Finlandís schools are great (by doing what we donít)

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    215

    Default Why Finlandís schools are great (by doing what we donít)

    From an article by Dianne Ravitch:

    "Admission to teacher education programs at the end of high school is highly competitive; only one in 10 ó or even fewer ó qualify for teacher preparation programs. All Finnish teachers spend five years in a rigorous program of study, research, and practice, and all of them finish with a mastersí degree. Teachers are prepared for all eventualities, including students with disabilities, students with language difficulties, and students with other kinds of learning issues."

    "Teachers and principals repeatedly told me that the secret of Finnish success is trust. Parents trust teachers because they are professionals. Teachers trust one another and collaborate to solve mutual problems because they are professionals. Teachers and principals trust one another because all the principals have been teachers and have deep experience. When I asked about teacher attrition, I was told that teachers seldom leave teaching; itís a great job, and they are highly respected."

    "Finland has one other significant advantage over the United States. The child-poverty rate in Finland is under 4 percent. Here it is 22 percent and rising. Itís a well-known fact that family income is the most reliable predictor of academic performance."

    "Finland rightly deserves attention today as a nation that treats its children as a precious resource and that honors the adults who make education their passion and their career."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    I wonder if Ms. Ravitch has seen "The Finland Phenomenon," which I commented on here back in May. While our education system can't do much in the short term about the relative disadvantages that some students in the US bring with them to their first day of Kindergarten (and have to carry with them from that day on) and about the Finland's economy paying its teachers a salary comparable to other professions such as law, it could do a better job of pre-service and in-service teacher training.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    215

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    While our education system can't do much in the short term about the relative disadvantages that some students in the US bring with them to their first day of Kindergarten (and have to carry with them from that day on) and about the Finland's economy paying its teachers a salary comparable to other professions such as law, it could do a better job of pre-service and in-service teacher training.
    It's not Finland's economy that pays teachers a salary comparable to other professions such as law. Finland's citizens value the contribution of high-caliber teachers, and elect a government that allocates the resources required to attract, train, and compensate them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    According to "The Finland Phenomenon's" Tony Wagner, teachers in Finland are paid only a bit more than teachers in the US (adjusting for differences in our respective economies, I think). However, in Finland, professions such as law don't pay appreciably more than teaching (again, according to Dr. Wagner).

    I don't know the mechanism by which those salaries occur or are set, but the paying is done by their economy in the sense of this World English Dictionary definition: "4. a. the complex of human activities concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services; b. a particular type or branch of such production, distribution, and consumption: a socialist economy ; an agricultural economy"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    215

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    According to "The Finland Phenomenon's" Tony Wagner, teachers in Finland are paid only a bit more than teachers in the US (adjusting for differences in our respective economies, I think). However, in Finland, professions such as law don't pay appreciably more than teaching (again, according to Dr. Wagner).

    I don't know the mechanism by which those salaries occur or are set, but the paying is done by their economy in the sense of this World English Dictionary definition: "4. a. the complex of human activities concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services; b. a particular type or branch of such production, distribution, and consumption: a socialist economy ; an agricultural economy"
    I drew the distinction between economy and government as the agent of compensation because we elect the latter, not the former, and thus have the opportunity to institute change. A round of verbal swordplay was not my objective.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Assuming that we don't wish to curtail the regulated market's ability to pay lawyers what it will, I don't see a path to paying teachers what we pay lawyers. As a result, I don't see a path to teaching being as selective a profession in the US as it is in Finland.

    As I see it, three of the biggest differences between education in Finland vs. the US are:
    1. Socioeconomic diversity
    2. Relative teacher pay
    3. Quality of teacher training

    For the foreseeable future, we really only have the ability to affect the third of these. Whether we have the will is a different question, and given the lack of will to do the right thing on so many fronts in this country, I'm not optimistic that we'll get even this one piece of the puzzle right. And even if we did (and we should), it remains to be seen how affecting this one piece would affect our relative educational ranking compared with Finland. I suspect that we could dramatically narrow but not completely close the gap.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •