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News, 1/13/2012

Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?

Finland is one of the rare countries that has managed to build a school system where all children learn well without harsh competition, long school days and extensive testing and homework. In his new book, Dr. Pasi Sahlberg describes the history of Finnish educational reform and examines the success of the Finnish education today.

Finnish School girlLearning in Finnish Schools is fun

Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? is a book that  shows how the Finnish way of improving schools differs from the global educational reform movement and the North American education reform strategies. It explores the evolution of Finnish education, the role of teachers, links between education reform and other sectors of society, and how smart education policies may raise nation’s prosperity and reduce poverty. Rather than proposing that other nations follow in Finland’s path, Finnish Lessons documents how Finland achieved success without going through the arduous and controversial process of implementing competition, school choice, and test-based accountability. This book is a message of hope and encouragement for other nations to find their own way to enact change that works.

Pasi Sahlberg´s book Finnish LessonsPasi Sahlberg's book Finnish Lessons

The first print of the book, published by Columbia University’s Teachers’ College Press, was immediately sold out. Dr. Sahlberg has been touring in various US cities to promote the book and raise awareness on Finland’s thinking on education. In December Dr. Sahlberg spoke in events organized in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and Nashville. Finnish lessons has also attracted quite an impressive media coverage: New York Times (From Finland, an Intriguing School-Reform Model) underlined the role of the high-quality teachers; The Atlantic (What Americans keep ignoring about Finland’s school success) pointed out that Finland is an education superpower because it values equality more than excellence; and Huffington Post (The Global Search for Education: Dreams) wrote about personalized learning.

Pasi Sahlberg, PhD, is Director General of CIMO (Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation) in Helsinki, Finland. Finnish Lessons is based on the author’s research and personal experience as a teacher, scholar, and policy advisor both in Finland and abroad. Dr. Sahlberg has global expertise in educational reforms, training teachers, coaching schools, and advising policy-makers. He has worked with policy and research organizations in Finland and as an educational specialist for the World Bank in Washington D.C., and for the European Commission in Torino, Italy. He sits at the board of directors of the ASCD.

"The story of Finland's extraordinary educational reforms is one that should inform policymakers and educators around the world. This book is a must read."
—Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education and Co-Director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education at Stanford University

“A terrific synthesis by a native Finn, a teacher, a researcher and a policy analyst all rolled up into one excellent writer.”
— David Berliner, Regents' Professor in the College Of Education at Arizona State University

"This book is a wake-up call for the U.S. This is the antidote to the NCLB paralysis."
—Henry M. Levin, William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and
Education, Teachers College, Columbia University and David Jacks Professor of Education and Economics, Emeritus Stanford University

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Updated 1/13/2012

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