Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

Last week I read a long and in-depth article about the highly successful Finnish education system. The article highlighted the reasons that the Finnish system was so successful, and these reasons made it sound very like the New Zealand Curriculum minus National Standards, and contrasted it with theabysmal failure of the American Education system which is one of the sources that National Standards were taken from.

The Finnish system is successful because it caters for the whole individual person, often in smaller schools. Respect within and between the sections of the system are vital and genuinely knowing the pupils and developing lessons that cater for them mean, that school and learning are enjoyable and we all do better with something that we like.

It worries me that a New Zealand Minister has made a scathing attach on Finland simply because they were being compared in a positive light to us by the leader of the opposition. As is often the case the comments were made in Parliament and are respected by parliamentary Privilege. But the fact remains that Finland has an education system that has a lot to admire and aspire to.

I have been to Finland and found it a country much like New Zealand, similar population, a focus on sport as a means of success, a unique culture and a very proud Nation so surely we would benefit basing the direction of our education system on a country that is very similar to ours and one whose education system is a success, rather than on countries exponentially larger whose systems are failing.

Have a great week, Mike Brosnahan.

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