"I believe that education is the civil rights issue of our generation." – U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan, October 9, 2009

Reforming Education In America: Finland Teaches Its Kids and America Too

I think it’s great that America is getting off its high horse and reaching out to other countries for guidance on how to improve its education system. In a bigger picture, I think that communication and collaboration is key to positive social change. One thing I’ve learned through academics and athletics is that it’s okay to ask for help, in fact, it’s a pretty dang good idea. Look to your role models and do what they do—this is how you can learn and improve! After taking the article into consideration, this is what I highly suggest America does to improve its education system.

Students in Finland are consistently performing well, making Finland one of the leading nations in education.

I just read an intriguing, eye-opening article on Finland’s educational system. The article, What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland’s School Success, was very informative and offered some great insights on what our nation can learn from Finland’s education system, and how we can apply their nation’s values to help improve our own education system.

From reading the article I learned a very inspiring and impressive piece of information about Finland. For one, Finland reformed its education system with the focus on achieving equity—giving every child, no matter where they live, their family’s income, or their background, equal opportunity for education.

Does this seem quite the opposite of America’s education system? It is. We have private versus public schools and universities. It looks as if America has a “mini war” within it, where institutions with money, power, and prestige strive to be better, achieve more wealth, and strive to outdo its competitors. These schools want to be known for producing the most special, standout students. Given this approach America is currently taking, it’s no wonder our students are falling behind in academic achievement—only a select amount of students have the best education available to them!

In agreement with the article, I think America needs to veer away from this competitive attitude and have schools cooperate with one another. America has a goal: achieve academic excellence so we can compete globally. But this goal cannot be reached if everyone is looking out for their own self-interests. We need to grow up, lend each other a helping hand, and sacrifice for the good of the group. Perhaps academic achievement isn’t something we can directly obtain, but merely a by-product of fundamental changes to our education system. If we can establish a policy on equity, I think all the pieces will fall into place for us.

Do you think it’s possible to establish a policy on equity here in America?



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