Opinion  Sever Plocker
What’s Finland’s secret?
Sever Plocker
Published: 03.12.07, 10:29
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1. Fair enough... Just take away their tenure as well
Lemmings Hotline ,   sd usa   (12.03.07)
If their getting paid competitive salaries, let them compete with the market, as well. Cant get your cake and eat it too.
2. Not only salary
Inyaki ,   Bilbao, Basque   (12.03.07)
1. The finnish teachers are better than Israeli teachers. 2. The finnish students are more clever than Israelies!!!!!!!!
3. perhaps Finnish parents are better than Israeli parents
4. Low level education.
FO ,   Belgium   (12.03.07)
I had the confirmation by members of the Knesset, and this more than twenty years ago, that low level education was the policy, to create a generation that will be easy to handle. The result we see actually, and this represent the great danger for Israel's future.
5. A better explanation is that it is cold in Finland most of
Rivkah   (12.03.07)
the year and dark most of the year, so there is little else for the children to do but study. Remember that Jacob dwelled in tents while Esau was an outdoorsman and hunter. Children who have little else to do but dwell in tents (homes) are more likely to read and do schoolwork.
6. There are a few other details to consider.
Terry ,   Eilat, Israel   (12.03.07)
What is the size of the Finnish education system bureaucracy? In other words, how much money goes to non-teaching administrative staff? Finland has a relatively homogenous population, almost all native born. This is certainly not the case in Israel. I would bet you that the Finnish minister of education stays on the job longer than the year, at best, of an Israeli minister. Our ministers come & go, with no time & no expectation of accomplishing anything, except a few headline grabbing ideologically motivated initiatives. Maybe the Finns don't have corrupt union leaders that obstruct all efforts at reform. A major factor in educational success is giving principals more authority in hiring & firing teachers. Pay related to performance is an excellent incentive. The Finnish school system is not divided into Israeli, Arab, & religious segments which creates waste & inefficient use of resources, among other obvious drawbacks. We need ONE unified system & curriculum. Perhaps Finnish students are better behaved than our often spoiled & undisciplined kids. Otherwise, the article is correct - teaching should be a higher-status occupation with a much higher salary FOR COMPETANT TEACHERS. Getting more men into the profession wouldn't hurt either. But we all know nothing will be done & our schools will continue to deteriorate unless we have major political reform as well. With our current dysfunctional political system with little or no accountability, the educational system is not the only public institution that will deteriorate.
7. NO money can change crazy south mind in the nordic calm...
Sam ,   London   (12.03.07)
8. Differences
someone ,   Finland   (12.03.07)
It's not only about teacher salaries. It is also about the culture, the desire to excel, to be successful - to do things right. Same goes for workers and not only school students. The Finnish worker works less hours but still has a better outcome.
9. In Finland,those who run the country,probably,care
Keren ,   Israel-SP   (12.03.07)
for their people.Those who run Israel nowadays,don't! That's the answer!
10. Another important factor....
BC ,   Stockholm, Sweden   (12.03.07)
...is the fact that Finland is a country with hardly any refugees and immigrants, which makes it easier to educate a homogeneous lily-white population without any culture clashes and integration problems.
11. scandinavians
faisal ,   dubai   (12.03.07)
my fiancee is norwegian, and scandinavians are waaaayyyyyyyyy ahead of everyone. Their leaders actually care about their people. we can learn alot from them.
12. Not just salary, Instruction hour comparison INVALID
Doron ,   Tel Aviv   (12.03.07)
Israeli student enjoyed 42 percent more hours of instruction than a Finnish student but what are they doing during those hours? Not quantity but quality matters! Israeli students waste the time in classes where the teachers are busy keeping the crowd quite instead of teaching!
13. At least we got a top spot in Arms dealing, Military budget,
Finnito   (12.03.07)
..drugs dealing and human trafficing. The Finns can't beat us on every index list.
14. Salary statistics
Hello from Finland ,   Helsinki   (12.03.07)
I wonder if the salary statistics for Finnish teachers are correct. At least in Finland it is widely recognized problem that teachers get so small paychecks. There could be also other differencies than the ones mentioned in the article. For example, the writing system that is used on Finnish language, is quite easy and regular and that might explain some of the differencies.
15. Israel children do more after school
Jabadini ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (12.03.07)
My experience of school in Israel is that the day is just beginning when the bell sounds at the end of the school day. There are extra classes and activities daily for hours after school. My little sister never came home after school and was out for hours. Another thing i found in Israel that is different from around the world is that children are awake until all hours especially in high school going out and not sleeping. Israel schools teach you how to be a parrot for the tests and forget the stuff after. The eduction system sucks and with the amount of foreigners in classes, half of them don't have a good enough grasp of the language to succeed and there is mostly no one to help them. If you realize that you are not in the top 20% able to get into Uni to study something real then what is point of good grades, passing is enough to finish Bagrut and many never even finish. Lastly, not to be racist but the article from what i can see forgot to mention the Arab sector which is much weaker in school studies for whatever reason and this leads to a large drop in the numbers for Israel.
16. Finland rules!
Fearless   (12.03.07)
17. #12 Doron
Keren ,   Israel-SP   (12.03.07)
I could get a glimpse on what are classes like in Israel in my Ulpan,and you are right. Teachers do not have the mentality of demanding discipline.Celulars ring,even the theacher's;people talk while the teacher speaks...it is an enerving mess. If this is the environment children dwell in the class,I can tell you:it is awfull!
18. how many stressors Finns have?
Isragirl ,   Kiryat Yam, Israel   (12.03.07)
With the highest rates of suicide and alcoholism in Europe, how many wars, terrorist attacks, national and communal traumas has Finland endured in the past 50 years? Their biggest problems are perpetual cold and little sunshine. What are our biggest problems? You think it doesn't affect our kids? Just a thought...
19. It's Quality
Jakov   (12.03.07)
It's the quality that will set apart the Finnish system. How Finland approaches teaching subjects, especially math & science is what makes all the difference. Culture and the way kids are raised plays a lot into the issue as well. Israel will never be like Scandinavia. Whatever changes that are implemented need to take into account the way of doing things in the Middle East. A quiet classroom where you can hear a pin drop is not one of them.
20. Small addition
Hello from Finland ,   Helsinki, Finland   (12.03.07)
I don't want to dispute the things Terry said, but I think it is worth remembering that although Finland is relatively homogenous country, we have two official and unrelated languages (Finnish and Swedish) and education is available on both languages.
21. But you have more Nobel prize winners!
Esaias ,   Finland   (12.03.07)
By the way, thank you jews for giving us the Bible. It tought us to read and write and gave us reason to try our best.
22. Maybe it's because...
d   (12.03.07)
The Finnish people don't have to worry about their neighbouring states TRYING TO DESTROY THEM. Finland should swap its geographic location with Israel and let's and THEN see what happens!!! lol
23. its more about parent and less about teachers
SS ,   ISR   (12.03.07)
Parents should stop looking at school as a 8 am to 1pm replacement for a baby sitter. Maybe we would all do better with a family hour. Does anyone for a moment seriously think if we paid our teachers top dollar, suddenly they would provide quality education? We have many caring teachers who care - even at the lowly salaries they get. Not to speak of many teachers who couldn't care less even if the were paid NIS 20000 a month. Its the family that brings out the best in a child. Israel is a 3rd world country on this count with a lousy attitude.
24. McKinsey report findings
Jaska ,   Helsinki, Finland   (12.03.07)
Quoted from http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Nov152007/dheducation2007111535880.asp In Finland all new teachers have a master’s degree - teaching is a high status profession. This is because it is not easy to become a teacher here. Admission to teacher training institutes are fiercely competitive. Finland also limits the supply of teachers to just meet the demand In Finland groups of teachers visit each others’ classrooms and plan lessons together. The teachers get an afternoon off a week for this. The big gain in this practice is that the benefits of the innovative techniques thought out by one brilliant teacher reach a wider group of students. In Finland, one in seven teachers is a special education teacher devoted to pulling up those who lag behind. And on an average, a third of the students get a, one-on-one, remedial lessons.
25. What’s Finland’s secret? Peace, not Apartheid.
Mandela   (12.03.07)
26. #12, Doron: Kids out of control and teachers lack control
Yael ,   Givataim   (12.03.07)
Confirmative! Can't compare finish hours with Israeli. Classes here turned intol cellphone exhibitions and cat walks. Teachers authority is zero. Who's fault is it?
27. teachers
robyn ,   israel   (12.03.07)
maybe the teachers here are not as good as in finland?
28. silly article
DAVID ,   NEW YORK   (12.03.07)
are teacher's salaries and instruction burnden "the only two factors that can explain the relative ranking of finish and israeli students"??!!??? duh: israel and finland are different countries. the cutlure, people and environment are totally different and comparing one country to another is not a valid comparison. finland has a lower birth rate, they do not have a large number of student spending hours studying religious subjects, they have fewer immigrants and less social strife. the comparison is ridiculous
29. You wait for tomorrow. Full results to be published.
Damir ,   Russia   (12.03.07)
30. Mandela #25 - you almost got it right.
Tahl ,   Israel   (12.03.07)
You were right about one thing: Finland's secret is indeed peace - as it has no Arab neighbors bent on annhilating it. It has no Palestinian terrorists blowing themselves and murdering civilians. It has no Hizbollah shooting rockets on it. Therefore, Finland can spend a lot of money on education instead of defense, and the students can proceed to university right away, without interrupting their studies with the army. In short - Finland can invest a lot in education because it doesn't suffer from Arab violence. As for "Apartheid" - I'll spare myself from seriously responding to this Jimmy-Carteresque crap.
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