Pasi Sahlberg is just finishing his second plenary presentation for BCSTA members. He’s a great speaker and the Finnish system is encouraging in many ways. Sahlberg also recognized the great strengths of BC’s education system.
Unfortunately though, in looking at ways to implement the visionary aspects of the Finnish, I can’t help but think, “We can’t get there from here.”
Which isn’t to say that we can’t improve our system, we most certainly can. But it would be nearly impossible to take pieces of the Finnish system and plug them into ours, as many call for. If we want to learn from the Finnish system, we have to look at it as a whole. It would take a complete paradigm shift to model their system. We can’t “tweak” our system to incorporate the pieces we like. We would have to have a complete societal shift in our views on education-just as Finland did many years ago. Finland wasn’t always a world leader in education, and they didn’t become one by accident.
Within our current adversarial approach to education, it seems impossible to have such a shift.