Dan Rather Reports ‘Finnish First’
by Iowa Future
May 7, 2012
Over the past three decades Finland has transformed its schools from mediocre to consistently producing some of the world’s best-performing students. The country has virtually eliminated achievement gaps and has been at the top on international tests since 2001.
To good to be true? Long-time, award-winning journalist Dan Rather decided to check it out this year on his HDNet program, “Dan Rather Reports.” In a segment titled “Finnish First,” Rather examines what makes the system successful.
There is no single reason for Finland’s superior performance on international tests, Rather reports. It is a combination of many factors. The 54-minute program looks at several Finnish classrooms and interviews teachers, administrators and education official Pasi Sahlberg,
Perhaps, most surprising, Finland is successful in spite of the fact that students spend fewer hours in the classroom than other developed countries. And its success comes without high-stakes, standardized tests. “In Finnish schools,” Sahlberg says, “we can more or less use 100 percent of the time we have available everyday for learning.” Sahlberg also notes the high levels of teacher training and the high regard in which teachers are held.
“Finnish First” is part of Rather’s look at global education in an effort to determine why so many countries are out-performing the U.S. In a previous segment, “Dan Rather Reports” visited Singapore and he’s planning a trip to Brazil. “Finnish First” is available from iTunes. An excerpt is below or on YouTube.
Leave a Reply