I recently received this link to a video posted on Facebook.
It is presented by Michael Moore and appears to have been made on a visit to Finland, where he interviewed teachers and school students.
Many years ago major changes were made to the Finnish education system when it was performing as poorly as the US and UK systems are now. This has resulted in Finland climbing the PISA international league tables of school performance.
The following points about the Finnish education system are made in the video. I have listed them roughly in the order that they appear.
There is little or no homework because school students have better things to do.
Finnish students do better because they spend less time in school.
Cognitive development needs relaxed brains.
Most secondary school students are competent in many European languages.
There are no multiple choice exam questions.
There is no national system of standardised testing.
Schools are about enabling their students to find happiness.
There is an emphasis on personal and cognitive development.
The best school for every student is always the neighbourhood school.
There is no competition between schools because all schools strive to be the same.
There is no private school sector in Finland.
All schools are student-centred.
There is no business culture in Finnish schools.
Students are treated more like adults than is the case in US schools.
The educational ideas that currently drive the Finnish education system originated in the US, but have since been abandoned there.
Play and socialisation are very important in the Finnish education system.
And finally, it is clear from the video that are no school uniforms.
About the same time that I received this link ‘Disappointed Idealist posted this article.
Some time ago I also wrote an article about another route to high educational standards.
Michael Moore’s video and these articles need to generate an overdue national debate. It is time that the ever increasing abuse of children in state financed English schools was challenged.