Standardized tests: Finland’s education system vs. the U.S.

Finland and the U.S. have chosen opposing answers to the question of how much standardized testing is too much.

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  • Imperial China developed the first standardized tests for bureaucratic hopefuls.
  • Finland has all but done away with standardized tests, and its education system remains one of the best in the world.
  • The United States relies heavily on these tests and scores lower than Finland in academic rigor, yet provides a more balanced educational system for boys and girls, as well as immigrants
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How does Finland’s top-ranking education system work?

The key to Finland's success is to view education not as a privilege, but a right.

Photo credit: Emmi Korhonen / AFP/ Getty Images
  • Finland has been a top contender on every Program for International Student Assessment survey.
  • The country built a comprehensive education structure designed to offer citizens free education with no dead ends.
  • The inspiration for Finland's approach was American education research and philosophers such as John Dewey.
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5 favorite books of Albert Einstein

Some books had a profound influence on Einstein's thinking and theories.

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  • Einstein had a large library and was a voracious reader.
  • The famous physicist admitted that some books influenced his thinking.
  • The books he preferred were mostly philosophical and scientific in nature.
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What’s the Lumina Prize? You could have the winning idea!

We're unearthing the next big idea in post-high school education. Is it yours?

  • Lumina Foundation is partnering with Big Think to unearth the next large-scale, rapid innovation in post-high school education. Let's lift Americans up the economic ladder and redefine education and training for the new economy.
  • Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. Its goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.
  • If you have an idea that could empower learning beyond high school, enter the Lumina Prize. You could win flights and accommodation for two nights in New York City, media training from Big Think's producers and social venture advisors, and the opportunity to film a Big Think video that will be seen by a network of potential investors and an audience of 5.5 million people.
  • Enter the Lumina Prize below.