[edit#mikko: Inkan linkki vie hänen omalle FB sivulleen, näet sen vain jos olet kaveri, samalla korjasin linkit]
To those, who can read Finnish; above is the link to my facebook page discussion on education. It serves as an intoduction to my further thougts on that subject. I would be extremely glad to continue discussion on education or other cultural matters here on this blogue (or anywhere else).
are two books published after PISA results continuously had proved the good results of the Finnish education system. They specially praise teacher’s professional qualification and the humanity of our school system (and I highly recommend any teacher and politician or in any country to read them as common knowledge on today’s education systems).
But one big question still remains in my mind: What is the main purpose of education?
Because. In Ripley’s book the ultimate goal seems to be the competence – or commercial competitiveness of a nation. In her brilliantly written book Ripley thoroughly analyzes the Finnish, South Corean, Polish and American educational systems. She (rougly simplified) finds the South Corean education to be very competitively qualified, but at the same time inhumane rigorous – contradictory to the American, which emphasizes sports and music, at expense of mathematics. Finnish system then seems to succeed in both, humanism and logical thinking.
But in the end Ripley says, that if she had to choose between South Corean and American, she would choose the former. So, does this means the choise between commercial competitiveness and humanism?
That leads me to the question that Mirva Kuusela and Ville Huuki already asked on the facebook discussion: What does PISA mesure? And is the ultimate goal of education the same as that? Are the goal and the purpose the same thing, and should they be?
Well, in my opinion, PISA mainly measures the function of the left hemisphere (which of course can’t fully function without the right). And of course I’m happy to be representing the world’s leader in that matter. I truly believe in human being’s capacity in logical thinking, in the meaning of its ability and results.
I also think that our education systems should aim on completely other kind of goals, not commercial competitiveness – as the Finnish National Curriculum already lists: “…support pupils’ growth into humanity and into ethically responsible membership of society and to provide them with knowledge and skills needed in life…”
And then, again, I believe in the intentional development of the right hemisphere, in forms of art, sports, music, dance, drama etc., and also in ways that are new in Western Culture but not in the East – meditation, mindfullnes, intuition, etc.
My educational ideology is based on my view, which is very ecological, but also aims to human beings’ holistic wellbeing. Therefore I just can’t sign Ripley’s book before hearing the definition of her ideology. As much as her book praises the Finnish system, I’d like the motivation to be elsewhere, not in capitalism (which is completely in the opposite direction than mine).
Because I think these are the main questions we need to keep asking ourselves (within this planet, nation, or just the reflection of the teachers’ bathroom mirror): What is the ultimate purpose of education? Why do we even need it (or should not be compulsory, as Ville suggested)? And, if we then educate, what is the ideological goal? And this is something that needs to be told openly, before claiming one nation/school/individual better or worse from others.
This was part One. To be continued soon (as soon as I find a way to edit my videos in order to hide faces: If anybody can help me with that, please do so).
All photos taken in the events / lessos of my school; Myllypuron yläaste. Photos taken by me and Minna Turunen. Thanks to Happi Media Education Center, Harakka island Environmental School, Firefolk Ihmesirkus and Helsinki Education Department Taito Competition.