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What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success - Anu Partanen

What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success - Anu Partanen
The Scandinavian country is an education superpower because it values equality more than excellence. Sergey Ivanov/Flickr Everyone agrees the United States needs to improve its education system dramatically, but how? One of the hottest trends in education reform lately is looking at the stunning success of the West's reigning education superpower, Finland. Trouble is, when it comes to the lessons that Finnish schools have to offer, most of the discussion seems to be missing the point. The small Nordic country of Finland used to be known -- if it was known for anything at all -- as the home of Nokia, the mobile phone giant. Finland's schools owe their newfound fame primarily to one study: the PISA survey, conducted every three years by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). And yet it wasn't clear that Sahlberg's message was actually getting through. Yet one of the most significant things Sahlberg said passed practically unnoticed. Herein lay the real shocker.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-ignoring-about-finlands-school-success/250564/

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Rita F. Pierson: WATCH: How A Teacher Encouraged Her Students With An 'F' TED and The Huffington Post are excited to bring you TEDWeekends, a curated weekend program that introduces a powerful "idea worth spreading" every Friday, anchored in an exceptional TEDTalk. This week's TEDTalk is accompanied by an original blog post from the featured speaker, along with new op-eds, thoughts and responses from the HuffPost community. Watch the talk above, read the blog post and tell us your thoughts below. Become part of the conversation!

To Find Work You Love, Don’t Follow Your Passion 43 6Share Synopsis Mainstream career advice tells us to “follow our passion”, but this advice is dead wrong. What’s the “problem” with MOOCs? « EdTechDev In case the quotes didn’t clue you in, this post doesn’t argue against massive open online courses (MOOCs) such as the ones offered by Udacity, Coursera, and edX. I think they are very worthy ventures and will serve to progress our system of higher education. I do however agree with some criticisms of these courses, and that there is room for much more progress. I propose an alternative model for such massive open online learning experiences, or MOOLEs, that focuses on solving “problems,” but first, here’s a sampling of some of the criticisms of MOOCs. Criticisms of MOOCs

Here's How NASA Thinks Society Will Collapse This article is from the archive of our partner Few think Western civilization is on the brink of collapse — but it's also doubtful the Romans and Mesopotamians saw their own demise coming either. If we're to avoid their fate, we'll need policies to reduce economic inequality and preserve natural resources, according to a NASA-funded study that looked at the collapses of previous societies.

New Study Shows Marijuana Is 114 Times Safer Than the Deadliest Legal Drug in the U.S. The deadliest drug in America is legal in all 50 states, and it's significantly more dangerous than a range of illegal substances much more heavily regulated and policed. According to research recently published in Scientific Reports and spotted by the Washington Post, alcohol is approximately 114 times more dangerous than marijuana, which remains the only federally controlled substance that has never caused a death by overdose. The authors of the study assessed the "comparative risk" of death that accompanies consuming everything from weed to meth and heroin — and found that marijuana is even safer, relative to those harder drugs, than they previously believed. Researchers drew these conclusions based on something called "margin of exposure," which measures the likelihood of an average user accidentally ingesting a toxic dose. The lower the ratio, the easier it is, and the smaller the margin for error.

Debunking the Genius Myth Picture a “genius” — you’ll probably conjure an image of an Einstein-like character, an older man in a rumpled suit, disorganized and distracted even as he, almost accidentally, stumbles upon his next “big idea.” In truth, the acclaimed scientist actually said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” But the narrative around Einstein and a lot of accomplished geniuses — think Ben Franklin, the key and the bolt of lightning — tends to focus more on mind-blowing talent and less on the hard work behind the rise to success. A downside of the genius mythology results in many kids trudging through school believing that a great student is born, not made — lucky or unlucky, Einstein or Everyman.

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The Rise and Fall of For-Profit Higher Education The rise of for-profit higher education has been remarkable. According to the Department of Education (DOE), between 1990 and 2010 enrollments at for-profit colleges increased by 600 percent. Nearly 2 million students—12 percent of all postsecondary students—were enrolled by the end of that period.

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