How many AP classes should you take? You want to get into a “good” college, right? So you look for advice on how many AP classes you should take. You find the same advice everywhere. Take as many AP classes as you can handle! But how many AP classes is that, really? Let’s take that advice and analyze what they’re saying. Let’s do the math! (And it’s not AP Calculus. It’s basic arithmetic.)…
It’s always gratifying when research backs up what you’ve been personally experiencing. And the research comes from Harvard, no less! Last year Harvard released the report, Turning the Tide. Their research shows that college admission practices are damaging our children and are harmful to society. And the press responded favorably, giving them a lot of positive press coverage for the report….
Sometimes it takes a photo to picture clearly what’s been there all along. (We’re so used to being conscious about gender equality that I had a hard time finding a photo to publish that shows the gender ratio that I saw in a Gifted and Talented (GT) math class photo.)
After hating math for years, our daughter was super excited about her geometry class project, designing tiny houses for a local homeless community. The class took a field trip to the community to kick off this project based learning. Her teacher sent a photo of the GT (gifted and talented) math class on it.
That was when I found out my daughter’s GT math class was 80% boys!
I was shocked to see that in a class of twenty, there were only four girls.
I shouldn’t have been….
Generation Startup is a documentary I just started watching on Netflix. It follows young entrepreneurs and employees of other startups as they try to make new companies successful. In the first ten minutes, several things have already caught my attention. Are low numbers of young entrepreneurs caused by our broken education system?
The number of young entrepreneurs is at a low
Most of the United States feels like our current education system is still working. Maybe it’s not as good when they were in school, or maybe it’s better, but it’s still good. Kids in their neighborhood are still graduating from high school and getting into college.
“Good” colleges, in fact. (Whatever a “good” college means.)
But if you’re familiar with research, such as that presented in Most Likely to Succeed, you are aware that the world of work is changing, and changing at a rapid pace. The schools of today are not training students for the jobs that will be available in the future.
And if you have a top student who’s being crushed under a load of homework, you might be ready for it to change.
And change faster already before your kid graduates!…
A recent article in the New York Times highlights a school in the Boston area that has high levels of academic achievement. The school has lots of awards, high test scores, high rates of acceptance to Ivy League universities, and unfortunately the all too common occurrence of high rates of student anxiety. And a high student suicide rate. Another parent from our high school sent me this article and resonated with me for several reasons.
Truth test – matching up with my own experiences
It passes the truth test of fitting with some of my own observations.
It shares many similarities with our own academically competitive high school, although not quite to the same extreme. (Or maybe that is hopeful denial.)
But I also have the added insight of having relatives whose children recently finished high school in the Greater Boston area (but a different school.) …
Our school system is failing. We all know this. I started hearing it in high school, which was over twenty years ago. In the United States, our test scores are woefully behind other countries.
So how does the United States continue to turn out, to educate, entrepreneurs and teach innovation? In this post, I explore the idea of the English language giving rise to entrepreneurs….
Finland’s education system ranks at the top of the world by almost every measure, in all sorts of rankings. How do they do it? How is the US education system compared to Finland? To get more information, I watched The Finland Phenomenon:Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System, from the Robert Compton Documentary series on Global Education, directed by Sean T. Faust. In my first post, I looked at the differences between Finland’s school system and our school system and then at how the Finnish educational system structured.
How else do Finnish schools differ?
US education system compared to Finland
In Finland, they actively try not to punish students for mistakes and there’s very little testing….
The Finland education system is the best in the world by almost every measure, in all sorts of rankings. How do they do it? To get more information, I watched The Finland Phenomenon:Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System, from the Robert Compton Documentary series on Global Education, directed by Sean T. Faust. In my last post, I looked at the differences between Finland’s school system and our school system.
Regardless of whether or not we could completely copy the Finnish school system, what can be learn from it? How is the Finnish educational system structured? In addition to some small new pieces of information, I found that if I listened between the lines and looked at what was I saw in the video, I picked up on a few more nuances.
The Finnish Educational System
Teacher training in Finland
There are high entrance requirements to even start teacher training, much less get your certification, which is a masters degree. …
Finland is the highest ranked country in education by many measures. To further understand and compare U.S. education vs. Finland, I watched The Finland Phenomenon:Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System, from the Robert Compton Documentary series on Global Education, directed by Sean T. Faust. At first, I was thinking that I wasn’t really learning anything new or surprising. I’m not sure where I’d already heard most of the information. It may have been The Smartest Kids in the World or World Class Learners.
In any case, if you don’t have time to read two complete books, the documentary is a quick way to get a good overview of the Finland school system if you can get your hands on a copy. It isn’t readily available.
U.S. schools vs. Finland schools
So why is the Finland school system so important? Several quick facts at the start of the film summarize it well….