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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

4/11/2004

To the Finland Schoolhouse

The Straits Times reports that Finnish Schools have been ranked best in the world by the OCED. How? Money? Class size? Extra years in school? None of the above.
If one trait sets Finland apart, it is the quality and social standing of its teachers, said OECD director for education Barry Macgaw.

All teachers must have a master's degree, and while they are no better paid than those in other countries, the profession is highly respected.

In a recent survey asking teenagers to name their favourite job, 'teaching was No. 1', said English teacher Outi Pihlman at Suutarila Lower Comprehensive School.
http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/news/story/0,4386,245175,00.html?
The finns have a few more rather clever ideas. Children do not start school until they are seven, the schoold drive towards a mastery of basics and the school day is run with a 45 minute class followed by a fifteen minute break. Oh, and no one wears shoes inside.

Sounds civilized to me.