Fareed speaks with journalist Amanda Ripley, author of 'The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way,' about what other countries can teach the U.S. about education. Watch the video for the full interview.
|Scooped by Vrinda Boodram|
I am definitely feeling inspired to purchase the book,“The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way.” After listening to Amanda Ripley’s experience I feel inclined to consider pursuing an opportunity to study abroad and experience a foreign educational system. What a riveting experience that would be! Referring to Finland specifically, Amanda defined the country’s education system as a utopia model in which teachers are valued and there is focus on quality of work over quantity. Finland is represented as being unusual to the norm, scoring remarkably high on tests, amidst less homework and no standardized testing.
Learning from Finland’s example, the way to execute real change to the United States education system is to change the perception of teachers in society. As mentioned in the interview, in the 1960s Finland shutdown teacher training colleges and reopened them back up in the top 8 most elite universities in the land as part of the broader reform of education. The cascading consequence was the pursuit of strong educated teachers with higher order thinking skills. I do not believe we need to shut down our entire system, but there does need to be a revolution in the way we perceive education and the role of teachers. We need to have the “signaling effect” that sends a message that the United States is serious about education. I am not exactly sure when the value and credibility of teachers dropped in this country, but I do know it’s time we bring it back to fruition. My favorite quote from Amanda was “Teaching is not only hard in rhetoric but in reality.” People should respect this vigorous profession. Changing the mindset of Americans will evoke more seriousness out of students as they “buy into the promise of education,” thus reawakening a credible, recognizable, and respectable profession.