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
When in Finland do not say fantastic even if you are really excited about something– Finns do not talk like that, I am told. Oh and don’t say please either… please. Last Thursday I attended orientation at the Fulbright Center in Helsinki. Fulbright Finland, is my home base organization and Tehri Mölsa, executive director, … More Nothing is “fantastic”
Several years ago I read a piece in which the author criticized parents for being paranoid about child abductions and terror attacks when, statistically-speaking, their children were more likely to be hurt as the result of a household accident or heart disease. It talked about too much hovering and not paying attention to the things … More Warts and all
Pre-post two-minute brainstorming video. In the late 1950s, psychologist Erik Erikson (yes, his real name) put forth his theory on human development, essentially identifying a series of stages that all humans go through on our way to forming our identities and learning how to navigate life on earth. Erikson asserted that during each stage … More Crossing the pond: Trust vs. Mistrust