7/18/08

Finland’s Fantastic Schools


The educational system of Finland surely has many strengths, but it is difficult to know what to make of some of the astonishing reports about Finnish schools that have been appearing in the international mass media in recent months.


Some reports seem to be based upon a questionable combination of second hand information with test scores and outdated financial figures, and some others merely regurgitate what has already been said in previous news articles. Still, it seems clear that something remarkable is happening in Finnish education. The typical Finn's language skills and knowledge of science, humanities and the arts is very impressive. There is a great emphasis on creativity here, and there seem to be relatively few social problems due to egalitarian public systems, although rates of alcoholism and suicide may be slightly higher than other nations. Rigorous, comparative research is needed so convincing findings can be attained regarding the successes of this national system. The following articles provide some background on this topic:

http://www.helsinki.fi/news/archive/7-2008/3-09-32-47.html

http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB120425355065601997.html

http://virtual.finland.fi/netcomm/news/showarticle.asp?intNWSAID=41557


One author in the United States has suggested that much can be learned from Finnish schools, including how problems in American schools might best be solved:
http://www.federalwaynews.net/articles/2008/06/25/interact/columnists/column01.txt


Here is an interesting blog post by Finnish researcher Teemu Leinonen on the topic of comparisons between schools in the United States and Finland:
http://flosse.dicole.org/?item=comparing-schools-in-finland-and-in-the-united-states


I intend to conduct some thorough research into this question while living in Helsinki, and will certainly share my findings in future publications.


Below are some links to various articles on music education in Finland:


Finnish Music Education
http://virtual.finland.fi/netcomm/news/showarticle.asp?intNWSAID=25821

Overview of Music Education in Finland
http://www.artistshousemusic.org/videos/overview+of+music+education+in+finland

Positive Effects of Music Education in Finland
http://www.artistshousemusic.org/videos/the+positive+effects+of+music+education+in+finland

Other Related Links
http://sociomusicology.blogspot.com/2007/12/from-boston-to-helsinki.html

1 comment:

Jason said...

Those are Russian kids.