The U.S. once had the best education in the world (and our farmers fed the world). Now the U.S. has fallen behind. Professors complain that students enter college unable to read at grade level, or do basic math without a calculator. But that was when teachers and parents had more control over the schools and curriculum. Teachers now complain that they are forced to use curriculum that does not work. Bureaucrats did not run things at a Federal or State level like they do now. Heck even the lunches were fabulous. They were prepared from scratch by local moms…not controlled by a remote dietitian.
Finland now has the best education in the world, and guess what….they are doing many of the same things the U.S. use to do.
- Teachers are empowered to “do what ever it takes to help the individual child learn.” (now we have to home school to accomplish that. In America the home educated children outperform their public schooled counterparts, and that is true even if the educator has no degree. )
- Compulsory schooling does not begin until age 7. “We have no hurry,” said Louhivuori. “Children learn better when they are ready. Why stress them out?” (Stress is one of the major causes of learning disabilities)
- Testing is not the major measure of learning. Timo Heikkinen, a Helsinki principal with 24 years of teaching experience. “If you only measure the statistics, you miss the human aspect.” “We prepare children to learn how to learn, not how to take a test,” said Pasi Sahlberg,
- Play is a big part of teaching (Whole Brain Teaching). “Play is important at this age,” Rintola would later say. “We value play.” Children spend far more time playing outside, even in the depths of winter. Homework is minimal.
- “Finland spends about 30 percent less per student than the United States”, and provides more individualized attention.
Read Full Article by Smithsonian: Why Are Finish Schools So Successful?