Learning from the Finns

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:

  1. Smaller group was taught with an assistance of teaching assistants.
  2. The teacher/assistants were motivated and patient.
  3. 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.


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