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"Finnish education miracle in jeopardy", warns Pasi Sahlberg in LLinE magazine

Media release.
Published: 17-Sep-2015 03:59 pm
Publisher: Kansanvalistusseura

Austerity threatens to end the success story of Finnish education, argues education pundit Pasi Sahlberg in an interview with education magazine LLinE (Lifelong Learning in Europe). According to Sahlberg, the country needs an updated educational vision.

Finland’s high-performing school system is in danger, argues Pasi Sahlberg, Finnish educator and author, in an interview with online adult education magazine LLinE (www.lline.fi)

The new Finnish government, in office since May 2015, is planning sweeping cuts to education: Over 600 million Euros will be sliced off the budget.

At the same time, the Nordic country sees its unemployment figures soar and its income gap between the haves and have-nots widening.  

− Erosion of the welfare state would be the absolute worst for education. Finland cannot afford to compromise equality if it wishes to remain as a top player in education, Sahlberg warns.

In Finland, the road to a successful school system was paved with public money.

-Establishing a free public comprehensive school fourty years ago really is the first chapter of this success story, Professor Sahlberg argues.

Finland needs a school update

In recent years Shanghai, Singapore and Japan have already overtaken Finland in the PISA survey, especially in mathematics.

An impending fall from the PISA summit coupled with impending austerity –surely a deadly blow for the Finnish school system?

Not necessarily so, argues Pasi Sahlberg. A strong, common vision for educational reform could turn the tide for Finland, even amidst budget cuts.  

-We need an updated ”School 2.0”, which would help pupils recognise their often hidden individual talents and passion. No one should leave school into further education without this insight about themselves!  

 “Finnish miracle” is import goods

Sahlberg, now a visiting Professor at Harvard University, has been explaining his country’s school system to an international audience for years. He is the author of the best-selling books “Finnish lessons” (2011) and “Finnish Lessons 2.0” (2015), where he analyses the causes of the Finnish education miracle.

In the interview, Sahlberg also stresses that most of the "Finnish" educational innovations are actually imported from abroad.

For Sahlberg, most crucial for Finnish success are equal learning opportunities and equity in education that comes with them.

-“No” to school-ranking or competition or high-stakes testing! “Yes” to high-quality teacher education and teachers’ high professional status, equitable funding of schools and support for special learners, Sahlberg proclaims.

Read the whole interview on LLinE: http://www.lline.fi/en/News/02092015/pasi-sahlberg-finnish-education-miracle-in-jeopardy 

More information: Editor-in-chief Markus Palmén, LLinE, markus.palmen@kvs.fi

LLinE is published by the Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation


Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation – Lifelong Learning is the basis of society!

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