Apples and Oranges

APPLES AND ORANGES: Pasi Sahlberg, adjunct professor of education at University of Helsinki and University of Oulu, has some words to snap us out of our pipe dream of trying to be like Finland. The reality, he says, is that visitors to this Nordic hotspot for Lillies-of-the-Valley who expect to see miraculous teaching innovations and leading-edge tech are likely to be disappointed. The major differences, he contends, are systemic: the country is essentially run as a welfare state where teaching is a highly competitive, highly-respected profession. (Still you have to love some touches: "Every school must have a welfare team to advance child happiness in school," Sahlberg writes.)

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