A lot of a…sharks out there…try’na take a bite of somethin’

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Perhaps these lyrics from Cypress Hill’s Rock Superstar best capture the whimsical nature of the American education system…

If you’re in this system, then you’ve most likely experienced some Finnish envy:

The top-performing nation.
Teachers are highly regarded.
For every 45 minutes of instruction, there’s a 15-minute recess.
Teacher autonomy.

Who wouldn’t want to take a bite out of that?!

Finland has been a hot topic in this vast and turbulent ocean of education, creating a Finnish shark frenzy if you will.

But before we commit to that bite, maybe we should separate fact from fiction.

What lessons can we learn from the Finnish education system?

In the book Real Finnish Lessons, and in this Cato Institute interview of the book’s author, Gabriel Sahlgren, we learn the truth behind this education superpower.

The video interview, with a duration of about 1 hour and 25 minutes, can be accessed here.  You can watch the video or come back here next week where I’ll break down the video into highlights and takeaways.

Spoiler alert:  Student-centered teaching and innovative teaching methodologies are NOT the reason for Finland’s success.  In fact, a recent decline has been seen in Finland, coinciding with an increase in the implementation of these “new-age” teaching methods and philosophies.

This and more to be discussed next week!