Education in Finland vs. The U.S.

Words: 810
Pages: 3
Subject: Premium Writing

Reconsider the article The Children Must Play by Samuel E. Abrams.
In this article, with which we began the course, the author develops an argument in which he asks us all to consider education in Finland. He hopes that in so doing, we will have a strong model on which to reflect as we consider our own system of education in the United States.
Please develop an essay in which you respond to two of the following topics below (about a page per topic). Again, choose two.
III. Multicultural/ Monocultural Aspects in Education
Some people argue that the cultural plurality in the United States (many people from different cultures, many people speaking different languages, many people practicing different religions, etc) is a fundamental characteristic that contributes to widening the achievement gap. Discuss Abrams argument regarding this topic as he considers two monocultural and otherwise homogeneous countries (Finland and Norway). What are your thoughts on this comparison?
IV. Providing Equal Opportunity in Education (Ethics)
As you read this article, do you think that the model of education described by Abrams succeeds in providing equal opportunity? Consider Finlands mixed-ability groupings, the policy of not holding back students for failing to meet standards, or not tracking students until late in their schooling. What are your thoughts on these social practices as you think about the situation in the US, which does not traditionally favor these aspects?

article: “The Children Must Play” by Samuel E. Abrams

The first point made in the article regarding childhood education in Finland is that student are given more recess time than in the U.S and more art programs. It is stated that in Finish schools the recess time is 75 minutes instead of 25 minutes as it is in the U.S (Abrams). There is also attention payed to art and hands on learning. This differentiates from American schools because in the U.S art programs are seen as expendable. In the documentary about school funding, it is demonstrated that students that are offered art programs do much mentally and academically than students who are not provided art programs. Student that are enrolled in schools that receive less funding and therefore do not offer art classes will statistically resort to violence and crime as they have no other way to express their emotions and will often end up dropping out of school.
Providing a hands on education method means that Finish schools rely less on mass testing. In American schools standardized reading, writing, and math tests is the focal point of education. Various studies have proven that standardized tests are not an ideal tool for education. For example standardized test scores do not correlate with a students intelligence or overall academic performance. Common core testing also puts an unnecessary amount of anxiety and pressure on young students. Many teen and children suicides are due to stress caused by standardized tests. There has been an increase of parents opting out of having their children take common core tests.
In Finland teachers are also given higher wages than in the U.S. and with higher standards. Higher wages and equally higher hiring requirements for teachers will directly increase the quality of education children receive. And by making education a more rewarding career path it will gain more attention and participants.