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Why Are Finland's Schools Successful?

Why Are Finland's Schools Successful? | Education | Scoop.it
The country's achievements in education have other nations, especially the United States, doing their homework
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"It’s almost unheard of for a child to show up hungry or homeless. Finland provides three years of maternity leave and subsidized day care to parents, and preschool for all 5-year-olds, where the emphasis is on play and socializing. In addition, the state subsidizes parents, paying them around 150 euros per month for every child until he or she turns 17. Ninety-seven percent of 6-year-olds attend public preschool, where children begin some academics. Schools provide food, medical care, counseling and taxi service if needed. Stu­dent health care is free."

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Where To Find The Best Education Around The World

Where To Find The Best Education Around The World | Education | Scoop.it
The United States places 17th in the developed world for education, according to a global report by education firm Pearson. Finland and South Korea, not surprisingly, top the list of 40 developed countries with the best education systems.
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Who Gets to Graduate?

Who Gets to Graduate? | Education | Scoop.it
Rich students complete their college degrees; working-class students like Vanessa Brewer usually don’t. Can the University of Texas change her chances of success?
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Michelle Obama Cites View of Growing Segregation

Michelle Obama Cites View of Growing Segregation | Education | Scoop.it
Marking the anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, civil rights advocates say American schools are increasingly split along racial lines.
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Common Core standards widen the opportunity gap

Common Core standards widen the opportunity gap | Education | Scoop.it
Standards-based education reform is not a good use of American taxpayers' time or money
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Despite its efforts to decrease the opportunity gap, Common Core standards widen it. Darling-Hammon, a professional says that "National education standards...increase the likelihood that children of every racial, ethnic and economic background will have access to a high-quality education" yet these standards underline the significant differences between the quality of public and private educations. While private schools have the means to offer other course material, public schools "focus primarily on subject matters covered by the standardized tests," thus narrowing their curricula.

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Women's Education in Afghanistan

Women's Education in Afghanistan | Education | Scoop.it
Women can only hope for a better future if the next generation of Afghans is taught to unlearn religious, cultural, and gender prejudices that are instrumental in their oppression. Education is pivotal to this vision, and it is the ...
Sophie K's insight:

I chose this article because sexism is pervasive in fundamentalist Islamic groups. Malala Yousafzai has committed to continuing her education despite continual threats to her safety from the Taliban. I am curious how women, and this culture of "religious, cultural, and gender prejudices" can be replaced by one of impartiality without an imposition of Western ideals. Can tradition be maintained and respected while furthering human rights? "Removing cultural, religious and gender prejudices in the curricula and educational materials is a strategic entry point towards a meaningful life" to combat embedded stereotypes. Because education so broadly reaches the population, changing the "roles depicted for women in our school textbooks continue to be stereotyped, less active, and confined to reproductive, non-decision making spheres of life." 

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In South Korea, 47% of eighth graders are ranked 'advanced.' In U.S.: 7%

In South Korea, 47% of eighth graders are ranked 'advanced.' In U.S.: 7% | Education | Scoop.it
South Korea's students rank among the best in the world, and its top teachers can make a fortune. Can the U.S. learn from this academic superpower?
Sophie K's insight:

In South Korea, teaching as lucrative and thus compelling. Yet I question, is this capitalistic system too money-driven too focused on measuring achievement? Students seem to react positively though to this style of learning: by rating teachers, they thus have access to high quality ones with supplementary online tutoring services for additional support. Though not necessarily as personal, are online services and tutoring are possible solutions to spreading information more equitably (at least to those who have computers/laptops and access to internet) and in turn, catalyzing positive change in the education system.

 

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From Finland, an Intriguing School-Reform Model

From Finland, an Intriguing School-Reform Model | Education | Scoop.it
An educator from the Scandinavian country that ranks among the world’s leaders in school quality visited New York and explained his nation’s success.
Sophie K's insight:

Critics argue that Finland differs vastly from the United States, and that their education systems in turn, cannot be compared. Unlike the U.S., "[Finland] has a tiny economy, a low poverty rate, a homogenous population — 5 percent are foreign-born — and socialist underpinnings (speeding tickets are calculated according to income)." Educators identified "a government decision in the 1970s to require all teachers to have master’s degrees — and to pay for their acquisition" as the turning point that elevated Finland's education system, one that equalized access to higher education while improving those teachers' body of knowledge. How can poverty be tackled in the education system in the United States? What obstacles related to diversity must the United States consider in order to create an equitable system? 

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Amanda Ripley’s ‘Smartest Kids in the World’

Amanda Ripley’s ‘Smartest Kids in the World’ | Education | Scoop.it
Amanda Ripley follows three Americans abroad to examine how and why other nations educate their students so much more effectively than we do.
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Class, Cost and College

Class, Cost and College | Education | Scoop.it
A new movie’s troubling questions include whether the best schools encourage social mobility or perpetuate privilege.
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Though more students are going to college, "'higher education is becoming more and more stratified.'” While "75 percent of the students at the 200 most highly rated colleges came from families in the top quartile of income...[o]nly 5 percent came from families in the bottom quartile." What is particularly jarring is how visibly disparate statistics illustrate the disparity between white students and students of color in access to high-ranking institutions: compared to the "80 percent of the white young men and women in [the United States since 1994] who have headed off to college have gone to schools ranked in the top 500 by Barron’s[,]75 percent of the black and Latino young men and women who have entered college over the same period have gone to two-year or open-admissions schools outside the top 500." The trend that with higher income, leads to increased access is pervasive throughout the educational system and professional world in the United States. What steps can be taken to equalize opportunity?

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A victory for Poland's disabled children

A victory for Poland's disabled children | Education | Scoop.it
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
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Inclusive Education

An issues paper released recently from Macquarie University explores issues within current-day training and education systems relating to people with disability, and unpacks the idea of ‘ableism’ – discrimination on the basis of ability. Taking a rights-based approach, the paper focuses on developing a clear understanding of inclusive education and identifying strategies to enhance the education of all children in Australia.
Sophie K's insight:

Because "[u]nderstandings of inclusion are often tied up with funding" and "the greater the cultural diversity in a school, the broader the understanding of inclusive education," an inclusive education is inherently linked to both privilege and access to sufficient funding as well as an already diverse framework. These characteristics are connected, since the concentration of wealth at a privileged school can yield a more equitable education. It is disconcerting to see that both macro and micro exclusion are pervasive at many institutions: whether through ableist attitudes or refusal to make accommodations to curriculum. We must recognize that “the role education plays in the development of an inclusive society is a very serious issue" and that inclusive education "is about how, where and why, and with what consequences, we educate all pupils.” It is therefore imperative that educational systems are inclusive to create a more tolerant society. Yet the misappropriation of special needs education and inclusive education without the implementation of changes in policy and practice. I want to further research the distinction between these terms, as well as practices that produce a more inclusive education.

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