I have been following Finland, or more precisely its education system, since the spring of 2011 when I was teaching Sociology. Leonard Sax wrote about Finnish schools briefly in Boys Adrift which we were reading in class. Sax described the American kindergarten of today as one which more closely resembled a first grade classroom of 30 years ago postulating that perhaps our schools were pushing kids to do too much too soon. Moreover he hinted that Finland had better educational outcomes perhaps as a result of the fact that children do not start formal schooling until age 7 so that they can spend a lot of time playing and getting close to nature before that. My students and I were intrigued so we started digging and that is quite possibly the start of the journey that led me to here and now: the here and now being Jyväskylä, Finland at about 2:30 pm and approaching sunset as my husband Chris and two-year-old Lou sleep off jet lag in the next rooms of our new flat. We arrived last night and I will spend the next four months researching the Finnish education system as part of the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching program. Chris and Lou are good sports as they agreed to pack up life at home for awhile to live not too far from the North Pole so I can see for myself just what is it about Finnish schools that has led to so much hype in U.S. education circles.
2 thoughts on “The Here and Now”
Meghan, I am so excited for you and extremely proud of you. It takes a special kind of person to leave the comforts of home and pack up and move half way around the world. I will be anxiously following your posts. God bless you and Chris and sweet Lou.
Hi Meghan! So glad you all made it without troubles and are settling in…I look forward to stalking you and your tales. Enjoy your time as I’m sure it will fly by!