Why Finland Education Model will not work for the United States Education System - Essay Example

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Various statistical parameters and variables indicate that the educational model of the two states cannot work harmoniously. Program for International Student Assessment…
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Why Finland Education Model will not work for the United States Education System
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FINLAND EDUCATION MODEL VERSUS UNITED S EDUCATION SYSTEM Comparative analysis of the education system in Finland and United States shows significant differences. Various statistical parameters and variables indicate that the educational model of the two states cannot work harmoniously. Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) findings shows that the performance of United States students in Mathematics and language skills is relatively low compared to other countries including Finland in this case (Tiina and Markku, 2007). The factors responsible for the comparatively lower performance of the United States students on same test offered to Finland students are many but majors on three. These include; institutional design, funding, and Teacher training- teacher retention. Critical analysis of these factors and their application between the two countries explains the variation in their education performance ranking.
Unless united States initiate reforms on its institutional designs, it will lag behind Finland in terms of its overall education system performance. The Finland government has centralized education policy decisions under the ministry of education. This means that the curriculum structure is uniform and tests are homogeneous across the whole country. Such institutional design means that diverse teaching skills are applicable in different settings and learners abilities. This offers better opportunities for the children and teachers with unique differences to work towards a common goal. This explains the outstanding performance of the education system in Finland as seen from its high global ranking over United States. In-depth assessment of the institutional design of United States exposes significant flaws that make its education system relatively poor (Tiina and Markku, 2007). The curriculum development and implementation has been decentralized to individual states. This has placed significant accountability pressure on the teachers and placed much emphasis on passing tests. This design means that the socio-economic diversity in terms of learning ability, teaching skills among teachers and students is disregarded. This has been in force since the passing of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act (2002) by President George Bush administration. This has seen teachers concentrate on tests which fail to capture other important aspects of learning among students’ hence poor math and language skills mastery progress. It is therefore evident that while Education in Finland is managed from national platform, the United States has left education management in the hands of federal states and this yields significant variation in students’ performance gap.
While the United States work on the principle of equality to fund education. This has led to more resources to the white wealthy majority in their schools against the poor black minority dominated states. Socio-economic status variation is wide among United States learners and this explains the poor aggregate national performance of the education system. This explains the 25% - 50% drop out rate among the poor versus 2% case among the well-off (Tiina and Markku, 2007). Comparatively, Finland provides resources to learning institutions on the basis of equity. This has seen all the students exposed to same amount of learning resources that include teachers and learning materials hence 5% of performance variance across schools against the estimated 20% case of United States.
Finland offers homogeneous training for its teachers with one standard curriculum. This means that teacher training and retention performance rating in Finland is better than United States. Some of the reasons for this include training institutions management differences in which Finland universities are all government owned while United States has even private ones. The decentralization of curriculum in United States means teachers must seek additional training programme across other states. This coupled with poor working environment explains higher rate estimated at 25% of teachers leaving the profession against the lower 7.2% in Finland. Such variation in teacher training- teacher retention between the two countries explains the differences in their global education system performance ranking.
Tiina Itkonena and Markku Jahnukainen (2007). An Analysis of Accountability Policies in Finland and the United States. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education Vol. 54, No. 1, March 2007, pp. 5–23 Read More
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