Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Finland - a model for schools?

According to The Economist (pay edition or the 23 March print edition), education policy wonks could do worse than look at what Finland has done with primary and secondary education.
Finland changed its system from being centralised, with curriculum, schools, teacher pay run from Helsinki to deregulating it to schools and teachers. There is no national curriculum in Finland and few national exams. In essence, says the Economist, the formula was “about getting good teachers – and then giving them freedom”. So that means rewarding good teachers and allowing them to teach what they want, how they want.
Finland’s 15yos have the highest level of maths and science skills, and reading literacy of any rich industrialised country. In the 1960s it was one of the worst performers. Finland stands above most European countries, as most European countries are at or below the OECD average for mathematics, the top performers are Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Finland.

1 comment:

CD said...

Wow, I'd love to find out more about that.

Whenever you suggest deregulating schools, people always tell you they will fall apart and no-one will be educated.