‘What if Finland’s Great Teachers Taught in Your Schools?’ Pasi Sahlberg – WISE 2013 Focus

Many governments are under political and economic pressure to turn their school systems around for higher rankings in the international league tables. Canada, South Korea, Singapore and Finland are commonly used models for the nations that hope to improve teaching and learning in their schools. In search of a silver bullet, reformers now turn their attention to teachers, believing that if only they could attract “the best and the brightest” into the teaching profession the quality of education would improve. This presentation argued that just having better teachers in schools will not automatically improve students’ learning outcomes. Lessons from Finland and other high-performing school systems suggest that we should also protect schools from prescribed teaching, toxic accountability, and unhealthy competition, so that all teachers can use their professional knowledge and skills in the best interests of their pupils.

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