Portfolio & Writings
Some things you should know about me..
“Suomalaisista on hetkessä tullut haluttuja puhujia kansainvälisissä konferensseissa ja koulutustapahtumissa. Valtionpäämiehet ja ministerit puhuvat Suomen koulutusmallista ihaillen oppimisemme tasoa ja koulutuksemme tasa-arvoisuutta. Tällaisessa tilanteessa on luontevaa herättää kysymys suomalaisen koulutusosaamisen nostamisesta osaksi palveluiden ulkomaankauppaa. Tässä kirjoituksessa kysytään, kuka ostaisi suomalaista koulutusosaamista.”
The article concludes that recent development of standardization and competition-based education will become increasingly counter-productive to preparing students for meaningful lives for and beyond knowledge economy.
This article concludes that the role of small group learning as seen by most of the teachers is for doing mathematics, introducing social skills and discussion rather than learning mathematical knowledge and skills. Furthermore it reports the barriers to using small group learning caused by the accountability structures inherent in the educational systems of both countries.
This article argues that what schools are expected to do in order to promote economic competitiveness often contradicts commonly accepted global education reform thinking. The conclusion is that rather than competition between education systems, schools and students, what is needed is networking, deeper co-operation and open sharing of ideas at all levels if the role of education in economic competitiveness is to be strengthened.
Relying on data from international student assessments and earlier policy analysis, this article describes how steady improvement in student learning has been attained through Finnish education policies based on equity, flexibility, creativity, teacher professionalism and trust. Unlike many other education systems, consequential accountability accompanied by high-stakes testing and externally determined learning standards has not been part of Finnish education policies.
This fictitious letter to a new education leader offers some gentle hints to the education minister who has recently taken the office. It is a tribute to my friend and mentor, Seymour Sarason.
Creativity has always been an admired personal characteristic but now it is becoming an important objective also in lifelong learning. The knowledge society demands people with better education and abilities to work with ideas. This article argues that education systems have trouble finding ways of adapting to the need for innovation and including creativity in current teaching and learning processes.
Sahlberg, P. 2009. The role of international organisations in fighting education corruption. In S. Heyneman (Ed.) Buying your way into heaven. Education and corruption in international perspective. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, pp. 135-154.
This article argue that international organisations have a pivotal role in reducing corruption in education. It discusses some features of education corruption and how its complex nature complicates mapping it reliably in different countries. It also describes the prevalence of corruption relying on available surveys of perception and recent research.
This article argues that: (1) the evidence remains controversial that test-based accountability policies improve the quality and efficiency of public education; (2) the current practice of determining educational performance by using primarily standardised knowledge tests as the main means of accountability is not a necessary condition for much needed educational improvement; and (3) there is growing evidence that increased high-stakes testing is restricting students’ conceptual learning, engaging in creative action and understanding innovation, all of which are essential elements of contemporary schooling in a knowledge society.
This paper argues that the bureaucratic “industrial”, standards-driven model of schooling currently fails to release the talents of students either for the competitiveness or collaboration that will be crucial in facing the demands of the decades ahead. It argues for policies, schools and pedagogies that promote creativity and a human capacity for innovation, not the relentless pursuit of externally imposed measurable standards.
Finland’s ascent to scoring at the top on international student assessments largely stems from its robust approach to teacher preparation. In Finland, teaching is an autonomous and respected profession that young people are eager to join.
This article claims that Finland’s educational system can be better understood through paradoxes rather than through the pure logic of change. It concludes that only a few directly transferrable educational ideas from Finland are relevant to the practices of other nations.
The present article discusses the role and impact of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in Finland. PISA has created a new geography of education policies and reforms by shifting global interest away from Anglo-Saxon education systems to Asian countries, as well as to Finland and Canada in the West. The article describes how PISA has become evidence of the successful education reforms in Finland carried out since the 1970s, but at the same time has created a situation where the continuous renewal of the Finnish education system has become more difficult than before.
This article describes the beginning of the present global educational reform movement discussing some of its key characteristics and implications in practice. Although overlooked by many policy analysts, Finland represents a striking and highly successful alternative to this global educational reform movement. The scholarly work of Andy Hargreaves is seen essential in understanding the requirements and resources that are needed in securing good public education for all in the future.
A decades-long commitment to providing crucial health and social services, as well as early interventions, has enabled Finland to create a system in which all students, in all schools, receive a top-quality education.
This article is an excerpt from the OECD report to the Japanese Government and it offers a paradox to look at Finnish education: enhanced economic competitiveness is, at least partially, a consequence of education policies that have endorsed collaboration, cooperation and networking in building a high-performing school system.
A Finnish education ambassador shares how his country’s school system ensures all students have access to quality instruction, sans constant testing.