We are at the point in our time in Finland at which we are considering what gifts and souvenirs we might take home. Moomin mugs? Of course. Alvar Aalto vase? Maybe. Iitala candy dishes? Perhaps. Marimekko tote bag? Hmmm. A years’ supply of salmiakki? Sign me up. What to take home as a remembrance of … More Parting gifts…primary school?
The culmination of my time in Finland is the creation of a professional development framework for K-12 educators based on my research and work here. Feel free to use the resources in your own school district and do not hesitate to offer feedback. Kiitos! Professional Development Framework: Cooperative Learning Strategies as a Best Practice in … More Inquiry Project: Professional Development for K-12 Educators
For most of our time in Finland I have had a rather conflicted relationship with the place. It was a tough adjustment for me during the cold, dark days of winter when I had no language skills, no ski gear, and no Finns to call my friends. Despite enjoying the overall experience of living in an … More The real deal
In one of the Moomin stories by Tove Jansson, Moomin and Little Dragon, Moomin has found and brought home a baby, fire-breathing dragon which he is hiding in a jar in his bedroom. He wants to keep the dragon a secret until he can show it to his best friend Snufkin. When he is leaving Moominhouse … More Moominmamma
Free lunch. If I had to make only one recommendation to American policymakers about how to improve the state of public education based on what I have observed in Finland it would be this: give every kid a free lunch, every day, no questions asked. Give each kid one hot, nutritious meal regardless of family … More No such thing as a?
The following was the basis for a talk I gave as part of the Fulbright Forum on March 17 at the University of Jyväskylä and hosted by Fulbright Finland. My four-month research project is “Cooperative Learning Strategies as a Best Practice in Student-Directed, Globally-Minded Classrooms.” Basically, it was a chance to present on my thinking at the … More Sink or swim: Thoughts from Finland
Up here in the northern latitudes, adults start placing trust in their youth from a very young age. Moms place six-month-olds in the arms of their 18-month-old siblings on plastic sleds and pull them around town as a mode of transportation in snowy conditions. Toddlers ascend impressive heights on the playgrounds while their parents nonchalantly … More The kids are all right
Moments that remind us to be humble can be moments that change our lives. At the same time, what is humbling might also feel temporarily humiliating. I recall learning to snowboard at 22 when it felt like everyone else had been doing it since birth. Trying to figure out telemark skiing at 37 renewed feelings of … More Get on the bus, Gus
Prior to our arrival in Finland I’d heard that Finns were a quiet bunch. Or that no one ever talked. Or that they all preferred silence over noise. I wondered if it was true and what it would be like. And, really, all of them? Maybe nearly 18 hours a day without sunlight in December … More Hello darkness, my old friend
I spent part of the summer in China a few years back and tried to get a handle on survival Mandarin– you know, the basics, nihao (hello), zaijian (goodbye), hěn gāoxìng rènshí ni (nice to meet you), jiaozi (dumplings), and píjiǔ (beer). Those phrases were all I needed until an unfortunate incident landed me at … More A slap in the face