Ever wondered how Finland managed to build its highly regarded school system? Look behind the headlines and find out.
Finnish Lessons is a firsthand, comprehensive account of how Finland built a world-class education system over the past three decades. The author traces the evolution of education policies in Finland and highlights how they differ from those in the United States and other industrialized countries. Rather than relying on competition, school choice, and external testing of students, education reforms in Finland focus on professionalizing teachers’ work, developing instructional leadership in schools, and enhancing trust in teachers and schools. This book details the complexity of educational change and encourages educators and policy makers to develop effective solutions for their own districts and schools.
Pasi Sahlberg recounts the history of Finnish educational reform as only a well-traveled insider can, offering the insight and facts necessary for others to constructively participate in improving their schools—even in a tightening economy.
Pasi Sahlberg is director general of the Centre for International Mobility at the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture in Helsinki. He is an expert in educational reform, training teachers, coaching schools, and advising policy makers. He has worked in Finland as a teacher, teacher educator, policy advisor, and director and served the World Bank and the European Commission as an education expert. He has a PhD from the University of Jyväskylä and is adjunct professor at the Universities of Helsinki and Oulu.
"The story of Finland’s extraordinary educational reforms is one that should inform policymakers and educators around the world. No one tells this story more clearly and engagingly than Pasi Sahlberg. This book is a must-read." (Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at the Stanford University School of Education)
"This book is a wake-up call for the United States. Finland went from mediocre academic results to one of the top performers in the world. And they did it with unions, minimal testing, national collaboration, and elevating teaching to a high-status calling. This is the antidote to the NCLB paralysis." (Henry M. Levin, William H. Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University)
"A terrific synthesis by a native Finn, a teacher, a researcher, and a policy analyst all rolled up into one excellent writer. Pasi Sahlberg teaches us a great deal about what we need to know before engaging in national educational reforms." (David Berliner, Regents Professor of Education, Arizona State University)
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