Monday, 18 April 2011

The cornerstones of a good education

Today it seems education has taken center (or is that centre?) stage in the Welsh assembly election. You can read all about it at BBC Wales News.

This blog is a strong supporter of the Finland education model, and the main political parties will need to persuade me that they can deliver the cornerstones of a good education system.

The following is from an earlier post - The cornerstones of a good education [in Finland] are:

Same nine-year basic school for all. Finnish children start compulsory nine-year basic school in August of the year when they turn seven years old.

Good teachers. The teaching profession has always enjoyed great public respect and appreciation in Finland. Parents trust teachers as professionals who know what is best for their children. Teachers therefore have considerable independence in the classroom in terms of choosing appropriate pedagogical methods

Sustainable leadership. Education sector development in Finland has been based on the continuous adjustment of schooling to the changing needs of children, families, and society.

Recognition and appreciation of existing innovations. During the last 30 years, the culture of innovation has taken root in the education system.

Flexible accountability, i.e. focus on deep learning, not testing. Finland has not followed the Anglo-Saxon accountability movement in education that believes in making schools and teachers accountable for learning results. Traditionally, evaluation of student outcomes has been the task of each teacher and school in Finland. The only standardized high-stake assessment is the Matriculation Examination at the end of upper-secondary school before students enroll in tertiary education. Prior to this Matriculation Examination, no external national tests or exams are required. This has helped both students and teachers to focus on learning in a fear-free environment. At the same time, creativity and risk-taking have also become common features in Finnish schools.

The culture of trust. The culture of trust basically means that the system, that is, the Ministry of Education and the National Board of Education, believes that teachers together with principals, parents, and their communities know how to provide the best possible education for their children and youth.

See also:

Education, Wales and Finland
Education in Wales - some suggestions

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