I recently traveled to Finland with a group of Delaware delegates to take a look at Finland’s education system, well known as among the best in the world. Our goal was simple — figure out what they’re doing that we’re not and see if we can adapt something that might work here in Delaware.
Let’s see, free lunch for all, no private or charter schools, free college, no sports and neighborhood schools for all students ! Wall Street won’t go for any of that! Looks like the only thing we can do is respect teachers like we do doctors.
Several factors set Finland apart, but one in particular drives much of the country’s success in education. Teachers in Finland are trusted — and expected — to do whatever it takes to turn a student’s life around. When a student struggles, teachers try a different approach.
Turn a student life around? Does that including putting them in specialized educational foster homes where parents will engaged in their education?
At today’s Vision 2015 conference, Gov. Jack Markell and Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy will talk about education in the First State and its K-12 Race to the Top efforts. Specifically, they will discuss what is needed next to take Delaware’s public schools from good to great, two of the most important of which are teacher quality and teacher preparation.
Very tactful add placement Dr. Okagaki! Your little editorial is an ad campaign for Rodel’s Kool-aid fest.
In Finland, teacher preparation is the essential ingredient for ensuring high-quality teachers. All of their teachers have research-based undergraduate and master’s degrees. The actual training itself does not seem to differ much from what occurs at top research institutions in our country. But only a small fraction of our teachers have that level of rigorous training.
So you are saying the U of D pumps out ill prepared teachers and need to look beyond a high school GPA to ensure a students entering the U of D education programs have preferable social skills that can adapt to student diversity?
Perhaps the most impressive part of the Finnish teacher preparation program is the selectivity of the preservice teachers. Last year, for example, 120 out of 1,240 applicants were accepted to one university’s basic education teacher preparation program.
Do that at the U of D and Harker would have to take a pay cut in order to pay the university’s utilities.
The question is why are so many people interested in teaching? After all, the salaries are roughly equivalent to ours.
Perhaps DuPont cut back on hiring in Finland and not everyone wants to build ships or can fish.
Two factors are key. First, their society holds teachers in high esteem, much like doctors. Second, as highly trained professionals, teachers have autonomy to solve problems
Unlike teachers in the United States! Teachers in United States have become puppets to business roudtable and Wall Street where control of the “their” classrooms have no autonomy. Call it the Judas effect!
As director general at the Finnish Ministry of Education, Pasi Sahlberg notes in his book “Finnish Lessons” that teachers relish what they call “the big freedom” that comes with being treated as a professional.
Perhaps if we real free minorities in America we can transfer those skill to free public school teachers.