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.


Making It Easier

An intersting piece on Wikipedia’s citation policy and undocumented (not-written) cultural knowledge.

“Publishing is a system of power and I mean that in a completely pleasant, accepting sense,” he said mischievously. “But it leaves out people.”

via A Push to Redefine Knowledge at Wikipedia – NYTimes.com.

Throwing away the rules of citation and verification isn’t the answer.

I believe we just need to be much better at making it easier to publish various types of contents/knowledge with appropriate media.

It is still hard for many. It still isn’t available to everyone.

I hope to contribute to the way people publish and share the knowledge. It’s fascinating to use and watch people (including myself) use various services and tools – I really believe it’s part of a process of making things better.

Finding Your Voice | zen habits

Just writing may not be so hard, but writing with your voice is harder.

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits had a good list:

  • Write a lot.
  • Experiment boldly.
  • Learn to hear yourself.
  • Getting that voice from your head to the virtual paper.
  • Find what feels true.
  • Find clarity.
  • Remove the noise.
  • Use your voice.

He lists the reasons why he uses his voice. Some of them are:

I write of simplicity in a world that’s needlessly complicated.
I write of minimalism to stem the tide of consumerism.
I write of contentment because too many feel a lacking.

via Finding Your Voice | zen habits.