Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Do We Need to Burn Our Violins and Close Our Swimming Pools?

"The latest infection sweeping schools, according to Finnish education reformer Pasi Sahlberg [and from which Finland has remained uninfected], is the GERM virus, the Global Education Reform Movement. The symptoms—universal testing, like the national literacy and numeracy tests; increasing school choice; and competition—are affecting schools throughout much of the English-speaking world, from England and the U.S. to Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa."
-- The Australian

So, do we want our children to be taught in schools that's main aim is to be, as Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard recently said, "back in the top five schooling systems in the world" in reading, science, and mathematics? Or, do we want our children in schools that integrate the arts and offer a well-rounded curriculum with a focus on the development of the whole child? Are we prepared to "burn our violins and close our swimming pools" to achieve PISA status, or is there another way? Sahlberg obviously believes that there is another way. He believes you can have both—academic achievement as well as a well-rounded education—and he has Finnish data to support his point of view. (Pasi Sahlberg is director-general of the ministry of education in Helsinki, but he's spending more and more of his time outside Finland teaching governments and schools the Finnish way). -- read full article HERE

No comments: