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.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
  • 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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Habits come from what we do, not what we want to do

A new study takes a fresh look at the mechanics of forming habits.

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  • A new study suggests repetition is the key to developing a new habit.
  • The study bases its conclusions on the habits of digital rodents.
  • Just keep at it — go to the gym, floss — and the desired habit will eventually stick.
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At least 340,000 Americans died from radioactive fallout between 1951 and 1973

Domestic nuclear testing wreaked havoc on thousands of families.

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  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands. But new research shows that domestic U.S. nuclear tests likely killed more.
  • The new research tracked an unlikely vector for radioactive transmission: dairy cows.
  • The study serves as a reminder of the insidious and deadly nature of nuclear weapons.
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10 reasons why Finland's education system is the best

No standardized tests, no private schools, no stress. Finland's education system is consistently ranked best in the world. Why isn't America copying it?

According to a recent European study, Finland is the country which has best school results in Europe thanks to its teaching system. AFP PHOTO OLIVIER MORIN
  • Finland's intellectual and educational reforms have completely revolutionized their educational system.
  • The Finnish system doesn't encourage cramming or standardized tests.
  • Finland's common-sense practices and a holistic teaching environment strives for equity over excellence.
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