Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Equality in Finnish schools
My cousin sent me this interesting article about how Finland's school system pursues equal acces to education for all children in the country. The country has been receiving accolades for its high marks on international academic tests, but apparently the school system never set out to attain excellence but rather social equality. And this pursuit of equality, as opposed to the creation of a few exclusive, segregated centers of excellence, has apparently led Finland to become one of the world's best school systems. This is a valuable lesson for the charter school pushers and the private academy fetishists running rampant in the US. And it goes along with my experience; I have found that pretty much anyone can become a critical thinker, a knower of facts and cultural referents, a decent reader. It's more a question of giving people a chance to learn than of their innate ability or the supposed excellence of some prestigious school. At the same time, I've met plenty of unthinking idiots who are said to be high academic achievers, or that hail from high-end schools.