Finland’s top scores on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) have prompted policymakers worldwide to seek the source of that nation’s seemingly meteoric shot to prominence and to replicate its policies. Standard explanations for Finland’s rise include its focus on equity and the absence of standardized tests, accountability, and market-based reforms such as school choice. But Finland’s growth began well before the policies credited for its success, and its PISA scores have recently been in decline. Real Finnish Lessons
explores the role of Finland’s complicated and unique history in its educational trajectory and shows the powerful role of Finnish culture in the country’s success. Please join us as we tackle Finland’s rise, decline, and the deeper explanations needed to make Finland’s experience truly informative for all nations.