"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Top-Ranked Finland Offers Reason for Rejecting National Testing

From ABC:
An international educator has criticised the practice of national testing of schools for literacy and numeracy.

Pirjo Sinko from the Finnish Board of Education has addressed a national conference in Hobart for teachers on literacy and reading.

Finland is ranked top of the literacy table for developed countries, and has rejected the practice of national testing and ranking the performance of schools.

Ms Sinko says national testing can be harmful for teachers.

"If teachers are not feeling that [students] are on their side, that they are against their work, and tests are taking too much time and they are teaching for tests nor for kids ... I think that it's not reasonable," she said.

Ms Sinko also preached the benefits of equity in schools for improving literacy levels.

She attributes the success to the provision of equal oppportunites for students regardless of socio-economic background.

"Our educational system can guarantee that they are getting as good teaching in the capital area as in the northest [sic] part of Finland so we are not talking about bad or good schools," she said.

"We don't have any elite schools and school is free."

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