Finland’s education system is failing. Should we look to Asia?

Finland's recent decline in international test scores has led many to question whether its education system is truly the best.

  • Finland scored high on the original PISA education assessment, but its scores have slipped in recent years.
  • Critics argue that Finland's success came from earlier education models, not from headline-making features like late start times, lack of homework, and absence of test assessment.
  • Asia's rigorous education system is now eclipsing Finland's PISA scores. Which approach is the right one? Which is truly shortsighted?
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Politics & Current Affairs

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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Politics & Current Affairs

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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Politics & Current Affairs

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.

(Victor Freitas/Unsplash)
  • 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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Mind & Brain

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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Politics & Current Affairs