I recently earned my Master's degree (in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Instructional Leadership) and as a current district level instructional leader I try to utilize what I learned to help teachers help their students. It also helped that I began my job and graduate school at the same time, so I was able to apply what I learned in school to my job and vice versa.
With that said, my growing curiosity in educational research and the educational history of the U.S., as well as the history of other countries, led me to this video on YouTube: What we can learn from Finnish Education. The video (embedded below) starts off in Finnish, however, the rest of it is in English. I encourage you to watch and listen to Dr. Pasi Sahlberg's explanation of the Finnish education system and potential lessons U.S. politicians, educators, and families can learn from it.
Current news stories from around the country worry me about the direction our country is going in regard to education. Listening to Dr. Sahlberg provided me with hope that I, as a district level leader, perhaps can help move education in my district in a positive direction (I am thinking really BIG here as I have no administrative power; but I can aim high). :)
A few interesting facts about Finland:
**All teachers are required to have a Master's degree (I need to research this more as another educator on my Facebook page pointed out that it was only for high school teachers).
**No culture of negative accountability for their teachers.
**A higher % of Finland's educational budget goes directly to the classroom than it does in
the US, as administrators make approximately the same salary as teachers.
**Finnish schools don't assign homework, because it is assumed that mastery is attained in the classroom.
What can we learn from Finnish education system?
Link to the longer version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEKiqcyD3wQ