Monday, June 16, 2008

What makes Finnish students different?

The Internet has been abuzz since the release of “What Makes Finnish Kids So Smart?” by Ellen Gamerman of the Wall Street Journal. In essence, Finland teens are able to deliver the goods on international tests and now American educators have begun researching the Finnish system to see what tidbits they can glean.

According to Gamerman, the differences between Finland and American education are enormous. High-school students rarely get more than a half-hour of homework a night in Finland. Furthermore, children don’t start school until they reach seven. There are no classes for the gifted students and no recognition organizations for those who achieve. There is also little in the way of standardized testing. 

In other words, Finland educates its children with a model that is virtually the anti-thesis of what we do in America. Yet out of the 57 countries tested, Finland’s 15-year-old students earned some of the highest scores in the world. More...

See also: Why are Finnish students smarter than the others?

And this: Obama and students in a Bronx high school...

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