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View Diary: Ed Reform: Seductive Arguments and Attractive Solutions (74 comments)

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  •  Finland's education strategy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    semioticjim

    is to not have disadvantaged kids.

    It's a powerful, and quite different philosophy than we seem to be interested in in the US.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 05:27:07 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  elfling, I agree with you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ManhattanMan

      that we in the United States don't seem to be as interested ending poverty as the do the people of Finland. But one of the strongest moves they have made in order to end the crushing poverty they came out of was to provide a high standard of education, including a national core curriculum, to all Finnish children.

      http://www.ncee.org/...

      When the student lacks a firm command of the nuances of the core subjects in the curriculum, project- and problem-based curricula often result in very shallow knowledge gained in the classroom. What makes it work in Finland is the fact that these pedagogies and learning methods rest on top of solid mastery of the core subjects in the curriculum, acquired by Finnish students in the lower grades...

      Would you not agree that the high standard and quality of the Finnish education system has had some effect on the economic, social, health and equal justice standards they have achieved during this period?
      •  All their kids have food and health care (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Linda Wood, ManhattanMan

        Kids who do not have food, health care, and a safe place to live are substantially hindered - in a biological sense - from having the attention span to learn abstract, complex material.

        In the US, there is a study that shows you can see the test scores drop if there is a murder within two miles of the school.

        It does not matter if there is a high quality curriculum in place if the kids spend their nights in fear or their days worrying over a painful tooth... and it especially does not matter if the kids don't get to school because the family is constantly moving or couch-surfing.

        In California, we have a high standard of learning and we have a strong state curriculum. We also have thousands and thousands of well trained teachers who really care about kids. It's not sufficient.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:34:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's chicken-and-egg. (0+ / 0-)

        1) Reduce poverty and we get better education.

        2) Improve education and we reduce poverty.

        What I've been saying is that #1 requires massive political capital and the defeat of incredibly powerful entrenched economic interests.

        #2 only requires getting the Teacher's Union to allow a few charter schools in a few neighborhoods, some spending on smaller class sizes, and free breakfasts for kids we are supposed to be feeding anyway.

        Go for #2. Get some gains. Then circle back and take a bite out of #1. But do the easy thing first, otherwise we'll get bogged down and do nothing.

        (But getting bogged down and doing nothing is what the Entrenched Educational Establishment wants...)

        •  We have a few charter schools in a few (0+ / 0-)

          neighborhoods, we have smaller class sizes than when I was a student, and we have free breakfasts for low income kids.

          It hasn't raised test scores to 100% proficient.

          We are not doing nothing. And there have been substantial gains.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 10:15:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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