RSI Corporate - Licensing

The big lesson from the world’s best school system? Trust your teachers

The Guardian – John Hart

“Finnish education is rarely out of the news, whether it’s outstanding Pisa results, those same results slipping, the dropping of traditional subjects, not dropping subjects, or what makes Finnish teachers special. I worked in England for two years as a teacher before moving to Finland eight years ago. My colleagues in the UK were supportive and the headteacher gave me subject leadership in my second year. I didn’t want to leave but the pull of home for my Finnish wife was too strong, so we upped sticks.”(more)

How Kids Learn Better By Taking Frequent Breaks Throughout The Day

KQED News Mind/Shift – Timothy D. Walker

“Although I favor the Finnish model, I realize that unleashing fifth graders on the playground every hour would be a huge shift for most schools. According to Pellegrini, breaks don’t have to be held outdoors to be beneficial. In one of his experiments at a public elementary school, the children had their recess times inside the school, and the results matched those of other experiments where they took their breaks outside: after their breaks, the students were more focused in class (Pellegrini, 2005).”(more)

In Finland, Kids Learn Computer Science Without Computers

The Atlantic – Emily DeRuy

“The Finns are pretty bemused by Americans’ preoccupation with whether to put iPads in every classroom. If a tablet would enhance learning, great. If it wouldn’t, skip it. Move on. The whole thing is a little tilting-at-windmills, anyway. That was the gist of the conversation one recent morning at the Finnish Embassy in Washington, D.C., where diplomats and experts gathered to celebrate the country’s education accomplishments as Finland turns 100. And Americans could stand to take notes. (Yes, from Finland—again.) Coding and programming are now part of the curriculum in the Scandinavian country, and they’re subjects kids tackle from a young age. But unlike in some parts of the United States where learning to code is an isolated skill, Finnish children are taught to think of coding and programming more as tools to be explored and utilized across multiple subjects.”(more)

The Cult of Finland: What American Schools CAN’T Learn From International Comparisons

The 74 Million – Matt Barnum

“Tuesday’s release of the PISA results — an international test of high schoolers — will almost undoubtedly prompt endless discussion of a mythical educational utopia, where kindergartners are “joyful and illiterate,” where there are no big, bad charter schools or high-stakes testing, where schools are virtually all equal — and where those same test scores are through the roof. It is called Finland, and many a journalist, policymaker, union leader and education researcher yearns to dwell in this K-12 Lake Wobegon whose virtues are lauded regularly on the pages of high-profile publications and whose methods are praised assiduously during panel discussions at serious conferences. Finland’s education system is sometimes described as a “miracle.”(more)

Sedentary lifestyle may impair academic performance in boys

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A sedentary lifestyle is linked to poorer reading skills in the first three school years in 6-8 year old boys, according to a new study from Finland. The study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland in collaboration with the University of Jyväskylä and the University of Cambridge was recently published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. “Low levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and high levels of sedentary time in Grade 1 were related to better reading skills in Grades 1-3 among boys. We also observed that boys who had a combination of low levels of physical activity and high levels of sedentary time had the poorest reading skills through Grades 1-3,” explains Eero Haapala, PhD, from the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Jyväskylä.”(more)

Children’s literacy linked to healthy eating

Nursery World – Kathryn Ingham

“The research published in the European Journal of Nutrition, followed 161 children in Finland aged between six and eight. The quality of their diet was analysed using food diaries and evaluated according to Finnish nutritional recommendations. The closer a child’s eating habits were to the Baltic Sea Diet – high in fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, fish and low fat milk, and low in sugar, saturated fats and red meat – the healthier it was considered. The study shows that children with higher quality diets perform better in standardised tests measuring reading, fluency and comprehension, when compared to children whose diets are low in nutritional value.”(more)