June 7, 2020

Finland is not for wimps


As the United States fights like divorcing parents over the education of its children, many point to Finland as the exemplar of child development. No tests, more play and recess, and less stress.

It’s seems to be a national vision of education that deeply contrasts ours. Children there start school later, not earlier (they start at age 7 because authorities want them to start when they are naturally intellectually curious). Teachers work fewer hours, not more. Students have less “time on task,” not double time on subjects they are failing.

And, parents have fewer choices when it comes to selecting schools.

It would seem that Finnish children are almost bubble-wrapped and indulged beyond anything American’s can imagine. Our supposed “rugged individualism” and fierce independence, which includes the freedom to succeed wildly or fail miserably, give us a self-concept as more badass than plush Winterlands like Finland.

But, even as they frolic in joyful play and harbor idealized visions of childhood, the Finns also have an essential and historic quality for facing tough challenges. In the U.S. author Paul Tough has called it “grit” (and many commentators have latched on to this unexplained, mystery substance). InĀ Emily Lahti’s article “The Brilliance of a Dream: Introducing the Action Mindset” she points to the existence of a Finnish grit-like quality called “sisu” that has existed for 500 years.

To read more, see the full article at The Creativity Post.

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