Afterword by: Ken Robinson
Publication Date: January 1, 2015
The first edition of Finnish Lessons won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in Education in 2013. It was featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic, The Guardian, CNN, Education Week, The Huffington Post, and Dan Rather Reports and has been translated into 16 languages.
Now, with Finnish Lessons 2.0, Pasi Sahlberg has thoroughly updated his groundbreaking account of how Finland built a world-class education system during the past four decades. In this international bestseller, Sahlberg traces the evolution of Finnish education policies and highlights how they differ from the United States and much of the rest of the world. Featuring substantial additions throughout the text, Finnish Lessons 2.0 demonstrates how systematically focusing on teacher and leader professionalism, building trust between the society and its schools, and investing in educational equity rather than competition, choice, and other market-based reforms make Finnish schools an international model of success. This second edition details the complexity of meaningful change by examining Finland’s educational performance in light of the most recent international assessment data and domestic changes. In the midst of continuous local reforms and global changes, Finnish Lessons 2.0 encourages educators, students, and policymakers to look beyond their own borders as they seek successful solutions for their education systems, districts, and schools.
International Acclaim for the first edition of Finnish Lessons:
“Sahlberg speaks directly to the sense of crisis about educational achievement in the United States and many other nations.”
Diane Ravitch in The New York Review of Books, March 8, 2012
“This book will give hope, vision, and strategies to anyone who is sincere in bringing a great education to every child. Pick it up and read it.”
John Wilson in Education Week, May 9, 2012
“Sahlberg’s book contains important insights for a broad range of academics, educators, politicians, and the public.”
Henrik Saalbach in Science, Vol. 336, June 2012
“ Finnish Lessons is an important book and educators need to read it.”
Gaea Leinhardt in Educational Researcher, 41(7), 271-273, September 2012
“Every educator and every parent in America should read Pasi Sahlberg’s book, Finnish Lessons.”
Howard Gardner in The Huffington Post, September 30, 2012
“Kills 99.9% of GERMs”
Niall MacKinnon in Times Education Supplement, November 11, 2011
“Simply put the one must read to begin to understand how Finland has built perhaps the world’s most successful educational system over the past few decades.”
Kenneth Bernstein in Daily Kos, December 29, 2011
“His new book, Finnish Lessons, tells the story of educational reform and change in Finland over the past fifty years and as he tells the story, it becomes less miraculous and more obviously the outline of a purposeful, thoughtful, and coherent strategy for school improvement.”
Jon McGill in Baltimore Curriculum Project, March 7, 2012
“ Finnish Lessons provides insight into the historical context which underlies Finland’s educational success. It sounds too good to be true, and for countries that lack the same degree of social capital, it may well be. Nonetheless, there’s no doubt that all nations could benefit from taking some pages from Finland’s play book.”
National Council of Teacher Quality, March 30, 2012
“Pasi Sahlberg, in his landmark book Finnish Lessons, makes the point that Finland’s development of extensive student achievement standards proved to be a very important landmark on the trajectory of Finland’s rise to world class status in the education arena.”
Marc Tucker in Education Week, May 29,2012
“ Finnish Lessons provides valuable evidence that investing in teachers and instruction--rather than in tests and inspections--can bring about admirable, even excellent, results.”
Connie Goddard in Teachers College Record, January 26, 2012
“If we can adapt any part of these Finnish lessons by applying them in our own settings, perhaps the wicked problem of reforming education and lifelong learning in our country will become a little less wicked.”
Paul Signorelli in Building Creative Bridges, February 5, 2013
“The greatest value of his book is not his description of what Finnish schools are doing now. The test scores can tell us that. But he also shows us how the schools achieved their successes, and where they might go from here.”
Crawford Kilian, The Tyee, March 26, 2013
Pasi Sahlberg is a visiting professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education and former Director General of CIMO (Centre for International Mobility) at the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. Visit the author’s website at www.pasisahlberg.com.
"For both educators and non-educators alike, Finnish Lessons 2.0 poses provocative ideas for reflection when contemplating the necessary inputs that contribute to educational success."
—Teachers College Record
"Finnish Lessons 2.0 is compelling and well-written. It will be of particular interest to those involved in developing education policy, although the book is also highly accessible and should be recommended reading for principals, teachers and parents - even in Finland."
—Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies
"Sahlberg’s work is enlightening in that it espouses an education system that is different from many other systems in advanced countries across the world and provides solid background on the historical context that allowed Finland’s education system to transform into a powerhouse."
"If you are interested in how to help your students be better citizens and part of a dynamic society, please read Finnish lessons 2.0."
—British Journal of Educational Technology
"Finnish Schools gives me hope that there is a middle way, a way to educate children formally so that it benefits them and drives them as well, without destroying the spark that makes learning such fun in the first place. If we can implement even a few of the ideas used in Finnish schools in British schools, I’m sure we can create a better and fairer education system for all."
"What I find encouraging in Sahlberg’s book is his recurring note that no matter how dismal a country’s system may seem, there is hope and room for reform."
—Philippine Daily Inquirer
"The story of Finland's extraordinary educational reforms is one that should inform policymakers and educators around the world. This updated edition presents lessons in a vivid and inspiring style."
—Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University
“Whether or not you have read Finnish Lessons, you should read and ponder this new edition right away.”
—Howard Gardner, Harvard University
“ Finnish Lessons 2.0 reminds us that a nation can consciously build an admirable school system if it pays close attention to the needs of children, if it selects and prepares its educators well, and if it builds educational communities that are not only physically attractive but conducive to the joys of teaching and learning.”
—From the Foreword by Diane Ravitch, New York University
“This book solidifies Sahlberg’s reputation as the most thoughtful international educational researcher of our generation. A must read for anyone who would rather improve our schools than complain about them!”
—David Berliner, Regents' Professor Emeritus, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University
"The second edition of Finnish lessons updates how collaboration, talent, equity, and common sense combine to create an educational paragon."
—Henry M. Levin, William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University and David Jacks Professor of Education and Economics, Emeritus, Stanford University
2013 The Grawemeyer Award in Education, for first edition
2012 One of 15 Christian Science Monitor's Must-read books about K–12 education in the U.S., for first edition