What Lessons Should We Really Learn From Successful School Systems?
|Above copied from BBC News|
Recently, in Washington Post's "What Finland is really doing to improve its acclaimed schools", Finnish education experts Pasi Sahlberg and Peter Johnson make it clear: "Another commonly held belief is that Finnish authorities have decided to scrap subjects from school curriculum and replace them by interdisciplinary projects or themes... ...All of these are false." Even the notion that schools do not give homework to students is false. Yet, these are the items that are attracting attention. Even in the Philippines, policy makers are embracing a single specific policy without really looking at the bigger picture as well as the finer details behind such policy.
Sahlberg and Johnson provide us with useful guidance on what really matters in Finnish education. These are not specific policies but, instead, values that should guide the policies we draw for our schools:
- Successful education systems rely on collaboration, trust, and collegial responsibility in and between schools.
- Successful education systems rely on continuous professionalization of teaching and school leadership that requires advanced academic education, solid scientific and practical knowledge, and continuous on-the-job training.
- Successful education systems are designed to emphasize whole-child development, equity of education outcomes, well being, and arts, music, drama and physical education as important elements of curriculum.