From Smithsonian Magazine’s Why Are Finland’s Schools Successful? article:
All children—clever or less so—were to be taught in the same classrooms, with lots of special teacher help available to make sure no child really would be left behind. The inspectorate closed its doors in the early ’90s, turning accountability and inspection over to teachers and principals. “We have our own motivation to succeed because we love the work,” said Louhivuori. “Our incentives come from inside.”
I recommend reading the whole article, but I liked that their findings were common-sense and sensible ones (and encouraging, too).
This reminded me of the newbie workshop we did at WordCamp SF last month.
People seemed to be learning the most when:
- Smaller group was taught with an assistance of teaching assistants.
- The teacher/assistants were motivated and patient.
- The student “got” whatever he/she was trying to do, at least once, in the early stage.
Simple yet important realizations I got from the workshop.
- How Much Do Parents Really Matter? and The Economist’s Guide to Parenting from Freakonomics Radio were interesting. Not that I have kids but how people – especially kids – learn fascinates me. I’m sure the researchers are still trying to figure out the best way for kids to learn, but both of these podcasts made a lot of sense to me.
- Waiting for “Superman”, a documentary film on American school system. I enjoyed watching it and is also linked from the quoted article above.
- Time’s Finnishing School also talks about the same subject – via @blndcat