Daily Archives: February 24, 2016

Finnish Schools Breaking All the Rules

I wanted to share this op-ed piece written by William Doyle, a Fulbright Scholar and author who enrolled his 8-year old son in a rural school in Finland. Throughout his essay, he describes the practices and pedagogies of his son’s fourth grade teacher, Jussi Hietava.

Doyle addresses several trends in educational reform in today’s world, including control, competition, stress, standardized testing, screen-based schools and loosened teacher qualifications and describes how Finnish schools do the exact opposite.

Below is an excerpt from Doyle’s essay. I highly encourage anyone interested in educational reform matters to take a few moments to read the essay in its entirety.


Here, as in any other Finnish school, teachers are not strait-jacketed by bureaucrats, scripts or excessive regulations, but have the freedom to innovate and experiment as teams of trusted professionals. Here, in contrast to the atmosphere in American public schools, Hietava and his colleagues are encouraged to constantly experiment with new approaches to improve learning.

Hietava’s latest innovations are with pilot-testing “self-assessments,” where his students write daily narratives on their learning and progress; and with “peer assessments,” a striking concept where children are carefully guided to offer positive feedback and constructive suggestions to each other.

Link to the op-ed piece: http://hechingerreport.org/how-finland-broke-every-rule-and-created-a-top-school-system/