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Sharin Tebo

Education in the United States and United States : What is and what can be | CTQ - 35 views

  • The simple answer is this: Finland’s cultural values and priorities are manifested in its system of education: “to guarantee all people…equal opportunities and rights to culture, free quality education, and prerequisites for full citizenship.”
  • Finland aims to uplift everyone in society; in Finland’s case, this vision can be achieved by providing equitable access to education and other social benefits. 
  • Finnish students do not begin their formalized education until the age of 7, standardized testing is unheard of in the formative years, and autonomy and play are encouraged throughout the curriculum.
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  • At the foundation of Finnish educational success are two core values: trust and equity. 
  • Finland’s educational system had become more decentralized and decision-making occurred at the local level.
  • local autonomy
  • Constraints on control and standardization facilitated greater flexibility, freedom, and the teaching profession became more supported, trusted, and respected.
  • Love of Learning
  • growth
  • relationships
  • personalized learning
  • n such a climate, adult stakeholders ostensibly trust one another, causing classroom environments to be less controlling and more collaborative in nature. 
  • With trust and equity as twin pillars of the educational system, it is unsurprising that Finland is able to focus on learning processes for civic engagement and development rather than on expending unnecessary energy for checklists, data, and oversight. 
  • Too many of our communities, schools, and students remain constrained and marginalized by poverty, lack of access, and limited opportunities.  Too many of us are focused on extrinsic motivators that inevitably lead to competition, compliance, expediency, sanctions, disengagement, and a diminished love of learning. 
  • “we’re measuring a lot of things in education today,” and wondered, “how are we measuring care?” 
  • perhaps we should be focusing less on Finnish education and more on the cultural values and conditions that make it possible.
Sigrid Murphy

Five U.S. innovations that helped Finland's schools improve but that American reformers now ignore - 64 views

    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Interesting Top Five
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Answer explanation is almost as important as mathematic problem solving.  If we really want to know if a student understands ANY concept, we need to ask him/her to write their explanation.  Sometimes the understanding comes from the thinking required to do the writing - writing to make it make sense!
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Why don't we consider relating almost every lesson to everyday life?  Seems like an obvious thing to do to me!
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    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Wow!  I think the concept of doing less of something in order to make time for experimentation is a fabulous idea!  Do you mean there are different aspects of student assessment and testing beyond a bubble sheet?  :)
  • Most of them have studied psychology, teaching methods, curriculum theories, assessment models, and classroom management researched and designed in the United States
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Finland's successful practices are something they learned here in the U.S.  So, why aren't our teachers here in the U.S. employing those same practices successfully?
  • Professional development and school improvement courses and programs often include visitors from the U.S. universities to teach and work with Finnish teachers and leaders.
  • in an ideal classroom, pupils speak more than the teacher
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Hooray!
  • the entire Finnish school system looks like John Dewey’s laboratory school in the U.S.
  • cooperative learning has become a pedagogical approach that is widely practiced throughout Finnish education system
  • Finnish teachers believe that over 90 percent of students can learn successfully in their own classrooms if given the opportunity to evolve in a holistic manner.
  • After abolishing all streaming and tracking of students in the mid-1980s, both education policies and school practices adopted the principle that all children have different kinds of intelligences and that schools must find ways how to cultivate these different individual aspects in balanced ways.
  • it is ironic that many of these methods were developed at U.S. universities and are yet far more popular in Finland than in the United States. These include portfolio assessment, performance assessment, self-assessment and self-reflection, and assessment for learning methods.
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Alternative assessments!  Performance, portfolio, self-assessment, self-reflection, and assessment of learning methods...
  • Peer coaching—that is, a confidential process through which teachers work together to reflect on current practices, expand, improve, and learn new skills, exchange ideas, conduct classroom research and solve problems together in school
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Working together and reflecting on current practices - Reflection helps to expand, improve, and provides an opportunity to learn and exchange ideas to solve problems
  • the work of the school in the United States is so much steered by bureaucracies, test-based accountability and competition that schools are simply doing what they must do
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Sadness Abounds!  We are teaching folks what works best.  Then, they enter the classroom and get wrapped up in bureaucracies and test-based accountability to the point that teachers are just going through the motions instead of facilitating quality learning
  •  
    Pasi Sahlberg Blog Finnish education reform Originally published in Washington Post, 24 July 2014 An intriguing question whether innovation in education can be measured has an answer now. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development in its recent report "Measuring Innovation in Education: A New Perspective, Educational Research and Innovation" measures Innovation in Education in 22 countries and 6 jurisdictions, among them the U.S.
marcmancinelli

Think Again: Education - By Ben Wildavsky | Foreign Policy - 31 views

  • But when the results from the first major international math test came out in 1967, the effort did not seem to have made much of a difference. Japan took first place out of 12 countries, while the United States finished near the bottom.
  • By the early 1970s, American students were ranking last among industrialized countries in seven of 19 tests of academic achievement and never made it to first or even second place in any of them. A decade later, "A Nation at Risk," the landmark 1983 report by the National Commission on Excellence in Education, cited these and other academic failings to buttress its stark claim that "if an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war."
    • marcmancinelli
       
      US has long been mediocre or at the bottom of international comparisons, but it's not a zer-sum game
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  • J. Michael Shaughnessy, president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, argues that the latest PISA test "underscores the need for integrating reasoning and sense making in our teaching of mathematics." Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, claims that the same results "tell us … that if you don't make smart investments in teachers, respect them, or involve them in decision-making, as the top-performing countries do, students pay a price."
    • marcmancinelli
       
      People use crises to advance their own agendas...
  • But don't expect any of them to bring the country back to its educational golden age -- there wasn't one.
  • According to the most recent statistics, the U.S. share of foreign students fell from 24 percent in 2000 to just below 19 percent in 2008. Meanwhile, countries like Australia, Canada, and Japan saw increased market shares from their 2000 levels, though they are still far below the American numbers.
  • And even with its declining share, the United States still commands 9 percentage points more of the market than its nearest competitor, Britain.
  • A 2008 Rand Corp. report found that nearly two-thirds of the most highly cited articles in science and technology come from the United States, and seven in 10 Nobel Prize winners are employed by American universities. And the United States spends about 2.9 percent of its GDP on postsecondary education, about twice the percentage spent by China, the European Union, and Japan in 2006.
  • But over the long term, exactly where countries sit in the university hierarchy will be less and less relevant, as Americans' understanding of who is "us" and who is "them" gradually changes. Already, a historically unprecedented level of student and faculty mobility has become a defining characteristic of global higher education. Cross-border scientific collaboration, as measured by the volume of publications by co-authors from different countries, has more than doubled in two decades.
  •  
    A great perspective piece on American education compared to the world.
Tracy Tuten

How to Fix the Schools - NYTimes.com - 1 views

  • Teachers — many of them — will continue to resent efforts to use standardized tests to measure their ability to teach.
  • Tucker, 72, a former senior education official in Washington, is the president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, which he founded in 1988. Since then he has focused much of his research on comparing public education in the United States with that of places that have far better results than we do — places like United States , Japan, Shanghai and Ontario, Canada. His essential conclusion is that the best education systems share common traits — almost none of which are embodied in either the current American system or in the reform ideas that have gained sway over the last decade or so.
  • His starting point is not the public schools themselves but the universities that educate teachers. Teacher education in America is vastly inferior to many other countries; we neither emphasize pedagogy — i.e., how to teach — nor demand mastery of the subject matter. Both are a given in the top-performing countries. (Indeed, it is striking how many nonprofit education programs in the U.S. are aimed at helping working teachers do a better job — because they’ve never learned the right techniques.)
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  • Tucker believes that teachers should be paid more — though not exorbitantly. But making teacher education more rigorous — and imbuing the profession with more status — is just as important. “Other countries have raised their standards for getting into teachers’ colleges,” he told me. “We need to do the same.”
  • High-performing countries don’t abandon teacher standards. On the contrary. Teachers who feel part of a collaborative effort are far more willing to be evaluated for their job performance — just like any other professional. It should also be noted that none of the best-performing countries rely as heavily as the U.S. does on the blunt instrument of standardized tests. That is yet another lesson we have failed to learn.
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    On what's wrong with our education system 
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