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Reading about Finland, round 2

jccohen's picture


dshu's picture

Well-prepared teachers

"All Finnish teachers must hold a master's degree" (78) has played the biggest role in the success of Finland education reform, as acknowledged by Sahlberg in Chapter 4 of “Finnish Lesson”. It is the most important factor out of all factors, contributed to its success. All the teachers, a pool of highly selected individuals, in Finland have received research-based training during their school education. In other words, they are well-prepared. Contrary to Teach for American (TFA) in the U.S., the selected individuals have been given fast-track training and then assigned to classroom. Furthermore, Finnish teacher education is an ongoing event while they are teaching students at schools, not stopped at the completion of their own school education. The opportunities for professional development and ample time for pedagogical reflections have been provided to Finnish teachers to cultivate them become better teachers. They are expected to be researchers too. Therefore, all Finnish teachers are required to complete master program, which is not required at the U.S. Specifically, as Sahlberg stated that “Finnish teacher education is now academic, meaning that it must be based on and supported by scientific knowledge and be focused on thinking process and cognitive skills needed to design and conduct educational research" (78). Until the U.S. has a pool of well-prepared teachers, we will not see the equal educational opportunities or the Finnish dream fulfilled in here.

sully04's picture

I agree with Dshu and the

I agree with Dshu and the Finnish education system on this one. Just this psat week in meeting with Jody to discuss the impact of the education minor in our learning, I articulated that the most helpful part, in terms of practical teaching mathods, has been the field work experience. I feel more prepared than ever to be in a classroom because I have observed and worked with different kinds of teachers will all different styles. No amount of classroom time can substitute for the hands on work that observing/aiding provides- especially for pedagogical reflection. I totally agree that we need teachers who are better prepared, and I think this type of work (similar to the fieldwork we do now) is a great place to start. Programs that offer classroom time in a dual-teacher classroom, with teachers working their way into teaching on their own seem like the best way to get the experience they need before sending them in to teach alone. 

ccalderon's picture

Master teachers

After the last class we had I was left thinking about how would could apply Finland’s success to the U.S. after a couple of hours digesting this, I thought about Finland teachers and what we could learn from them and the schools that educate them. The way the teachers are treated and thought of could benefit the U.S.

"All Finnish teachers must hold a master's degree" (pg. 78)

I also thought about teacher’s needing their masters but I think it definitely helps. If the masters program includes a teacher gaining their classroom I think it would definitely help. The way teachers are treated in Finland reminds me of professors and the requirements for professors in the U.S. What would we should take away from Finland might be the education aspect that the teacher in Finland receive. There are master programs in the U.S. that are amazing and those need to be spread throughout more.


Something I was just wondering about was how teachers say you need to be in a classroom before you are able to really expand. Every teacher says his or her first year is the hardest year, is this not the case in Finland? Or do we still need to gain that experience, so why completely take out programs that push you into a classroom. With support this can turn out successful teachers with years of experience. If we go into masters programs we will still come out needing your own classroom to manage and learn from. 

ccalderon's picture

Master teachers

After the last class we had I was left thinking about how would could apply Finland’s success to the U.S. after a couple of hours digesting this, I thought about Finland teachers and what we could learn from them and the schools that educate them. The way the teachers are treated and thought of could benefit the U.S.

"All Finnish teachers must hold a master's degree" (pg. 78)

I also thought about teacher’s needing their masters but I think it definitely helps. If the masters program includes a teacher gaining their classroom I think it would definitely help. The way teachers are treated in Finland reminds me of professors and the requirements for professors in the U.S. What would we should take away from Finland might be the education aspect that the teacher in Finland receive. There are master programs in the U.S. that are amazing and those need to be spread throughout more.


Something I was just wondering about was how teachers say you need to be in a classroom before you are able to really expand. Every teacher says his or her first year is the hardest year, is this not the case in Finland? Or do we still need to gain that experience, so why completely take out programs that push you into a classroom. With support this can turn out successful teachers with years of experience. If we go into masters programs we will still come out needing your own classroom to manage and learn from. 

lyoo's picture

Do all teachers need a master's degree?

There are a lot of things about Finnish schools that admire like their high-quality teachers, non-prescribed curriculum, and personalization of education; but I am not sure if I'm ready to accept the notion that everyone who wants to be a teacher must get a master's degree.  If we look at the case of private schools in the U.S., the teachers that they hire do not even need to be state certified to teach in order to apply to be a teacher yet these private schools generally outperform U.S. public schools.

I agree with the notion that teachers are researchers and should be pushed to constantly reflect upon their work and learn from their past mistakes.  But I don't think you need a master's degree to do this. When I asked a friend who got her master's before she went into teaching whether she felt her teacher education program had prepared her for teaching she said that there is no teacher education program that could ever solidly prepare you for teaching.  Teaching is a hands-on, learn as you go job and actually starting to teach yourself is probably the best research a prospective teacher could do. 

What Finland has is the best of their best going into teaching because it is seen as a desirable job. Sahlberg writes, "Due to the popularity of teaching and becoming a teacher, only Finland's best and most committed are able to realize those professional dreams" (73).  In the U.S. we have teacher certification examinations that match the level of high school graduates going into a job that has recently been ranked as one of the unhappiest jobs in America by Forbes.  

TFA typically chooses academically talented college graduates and they are known to be highly selective with their candidates. So if TFA selects some of the best and brightest talents from America's top universities, then why is TFA not more of a success then it has been? I would argue that the biggest impediment is that most TFA candidates are only in education for the short-haul. It is simply a stepping stone to another future goal or a resume filler. Therefore, the dedication, commitment, and desire to teach and teach effectively is not there which I would argue is just as important as being academically talented. Teach for America, may or may not churn out good and effective educators, but if these educators are going to be gone every two years then they only contribute to the problem of teacher-retention that plague our high-needs schools. Another thing is that TFA lowers the standard of the teaching profession into a volunteer position.  Is this what teaching in America has devolved to? Volunteerism? Baby-sitting? Who's ever heard of a TFA type programs for doctors or lawyers? 

Last week we ended the class saying that teachers should be at the same professional level of doctors and lawyers. I think so too. But when we say this we also have to consider what makes being a doctor and lawyer such a respected position in society. Both these professions have high turnover rates, high competition, and these professionals are held very accountable for their performance in their work. But today teaching (specifically in the public schools) is not a respected positioin thanks to rampant cheating scandals, 2-year tenure agreement, a disproportionate emphasis on job protection, and unproductive if not parisitic inventions like the rubber room.

hl13's picture

One of the biggest reasons

One of the biggest reasons that I think requiring a Master's education in Finland works has to do more with just practical preparation in the classroom. I think that in the states, because teachers do not have the same educational requirement, we require that expertise to be held outside of the teacher's position. In some sense this might be why we feel such a need for accountability in the US education system, because we feel we need people more educated than teachers to oversee their work (which is problematic in itself). However, I think that in Finland, the system is more apt to trust their teachers to evaluate students precisely because they are educated to such a high level. Like doctors, they are trusted to manage their own practice. I think this is a simple, idealistic analysis, but nevertheless think it carries some weight.

Sharaai's picture

There’s a few statements that

There’s a few statements that lyoo made that I really want to step back from and unpack;

I think that something like a teacher’s education is a small factor in the comparison of public and private schools. When it comes to comparing the student outcomes of these two types of schools, so many more factors need to be taken into consideration. Public schools,,in general , have a lot more  obstacles that they need to take on in order to provide their students with the proper education to succeed. Factors such as funding, parent involvement, pressures from school districts (test scores, graduation rate)  and more. These are factors that private schools don’t have to deal with for a number of reasons. Funding usually isn’t a problem since student’s attendance is paid for, parents generally need to make an initiative to get their student’s into these schools and they don’t have to deal with the same strict guidelines that public schools have to like NCLB regulations and consequences. This isn’t to say that a teacher’s education isn’t important but if you were to take the same teachers from those private schools, take away what they have over public schools, I really wonder how their outcomes would turn out.

hl13's picture


“Education policy in Finland gives high priority to personalized learning and creative teaching as important components of schooling. Therefore, students’ progress in school is primarily judged against their respective characteristics and abilities, rather than by reliance on uniform standards and statistical indicators” (89).


For me, this sentence seems to crystallize what was most important about the Finnish school system. This overarching idea encompasses many of the policies that stem from it. An education system that purports individualized forms of success sensibly constructs programs that emphasize special education, creativity, and deemphasizes formalized testing. These all seem to be policies which US education could see more of. What seems to be Sahlberg’s conclusion of how to get there, outside of cultural differences which are out of our control, is the system which educates and supports teachers, since “creative teaching” and the teacher’s role is at the heart of the Finnish education system.


Sahlberg spends time showing how Finland has ignored the GERM (Global Education Reform Movement) policies, which originated in an 80’s new paradigm of learning that centers on reforms based on learning rather than teaching (99). In the States and elsewhere, this has lead to increased time in core subjects, heavy testing of students, and other factors that are hotly debated. Finland concentrated its reform on the side of teachers rather than the learners. The piece of legislation that I found most admirable was the requirement passed that to become a teacher one needed a research-based Master’s degree, whether teaching kindergarten or ninth grade. I was expecting reading this book that teachers, having a more respected career, would also be paid more, but I was surprised to read that the average salary is on par or less than in the States; the academic rigor and cultural respect seem to be the primary attractors for Finnish teachers. I think these policies have an excellent mix of rigor and freedom, creativity and research, which I used to think of as opposites. Teachers are seen as creative professionals, but also need advanced academic skills. While it would be difficult, I think that this legislation would be possible to replicate in the US. This would happen especially if the university system valued departments of education to a greater extent. (“Faculties in Finnish universities perceive teacher education as an important component of their academic programs” 94).


transitfan's picture

developing educators on a policy-level in Finland

On page 70, we read that in the 1960's, teachers were trained in 2-3 yr teacher preparation seminars rather than at academic institutions, but that now this has changed. With programs like TFA, it seems like the U.S. is going in the wrong direction on this issue (as with many of the issues in this book.) On page 72, we see that teaching is an admired profession (albeit still with a large and glossed-over gender gap acccording to the figures given), whereas for many TFA-type teachers it isn't a permanent career at all.

Once teachers get to the classroom, there is lots of time and space for professional development, although not necessarily much funding. Pay is based on experience rather than merit (I personally don't know why it makes sense for it to be based on one or the other. Also I think it's worth remembering that while schools may be spending less on teachers, single-payer healthcare and other government services may enable Finnish teachers to have a higher quality of life).

I wonder what these super-competitive schools of education look like and how they could be replicated here. Could we add social justice as a value like in the BiCo education program? Probably there would be more curriculum/pedagogy development training than in our education program. I know some excellent teachers who have taken classes in the education program here who in general in the BiCo get frustrated by the time spent in classrooms and feeling ready to spend more time taking action in the world upon graduation. I suspect these students would not want to spend another two years in a Masters in Education program as required in Finnish public schools. It seems like this might not be the model for everyone, not that we necessarily need a model for everyone.

Laura H's picture

What makes teaching a top job?

I was very interested in Sahlberg’s discussion of “What makes teaching a top job?” on page 76, because this is something we have talked a lot about in class. In particular, I found it interesting how much Finnish teachers value their autonomy. Sahlberg writes, “Teachers at all levels of schooling expect that they are given the full range of professional autonomy to do what they have been educated to do: to plan, teach, diagnose, execute, and evaluate. They also expect to be provided time to accomplish all of these goals” (76). He even goes so far as to say that many Finnish teachers would consider changing professions if this autonomy was threatened by outside inspectors or merit-based compensation. Interestingly, it seems as though many reform efforts here in the US are moving more in the direction of merit-based pay and “outside inspectors,” because we believe it is the best way to hold teachers and schools accountable for results. Again, it is difficult to compare Finland and the US given the different political, economic, and cultural landscapes, yet there is something to be said for the type of professional environment Finnish teachers work in. While teacher evaluations can be useful, if they are done in a way that is punitive rather than productive, it is logical that teachers would not enjoy their professions. I am also skeptical of merit-based pay because quantifying teacher “success” can be extremely challenging and subjective. Furthermore, Sahlberg notes, “First and foremost, the working conditions and moral profession environment are what count as young Finns decide whether they will pursue a teaching career or seek work in another field” (77). It seems somewhat obvious that creating a positive work environment would be a main factor to draw people to the profession, yet I wonder what it would take for American schools to pursue this. What do American teachers want in a professional environment? Would we need more staff so that teachers could have more time for lesson planning? How could we make teacher training more challenging and appealing to high school or college graduates? Would giving teachers autonomy in the classroom go against the new push toward accountability and results? 

jcb2013's picture

Professional Autonomy

I found Sahlberg's discussion on professional autonomy, especially in the opinion of Finnish teachers to be extremely interesting as well.  When many stated that they would leave the field if they lost their autonomy, and were not able to "plan, teach, diagnose, execute, and evaluate" as they were educated to do (76), I felt that this demonstrated a significant division between the Finnish education system and the US education system. While I feel that autonomy is important to US teachers, I feel that our system has gone down a path so far from professional autonomy that most, especially public school teachers, wouldn't know what to do if given the opportunity.  (Now obviously this is a generalization, and exaggeration, but the American public school system at this point is too focused on structured curriculum, and standardized testing that most teachers are not exposed to professional autonomy.)

I think that if the US ed. system gave teachers more of a voice in everything from policy, to curriculum, to the structure of their classrooms that the profession would be more appealing to highly qualified students, making the teacher profession more competitive, like that of Finland's.  With this in mind, Sahlberg is correct in that some reform movements (GERM) decrease the possibility of this even further causing teaching to the test, and strict curriculum policies.  Currently, strict assessment focused curriculum is destroying what autonomy that teachers had left.  I wonder if there is a way to better balance student assessment and professional autonomy for teachers.  

This is especially interesting to me because of my job placement next year.  Following graduation I will be working at a charter school in DC.  While this charter school is known for it's high standardized test scores (in low income and minority neighborhoods) in my experience the school environment still has an appreciation for teacher autonomy. While there are still timelines to follow (so that classes do not get behind), and subjects/topics to cover, there is a lot of freedom within the school to decide how to meet these requirements/needs.  For example, the culture and goals of the school are determined by the Principal in accordance with the teaching staff.  Even though the school that I will be working in (in its founding year) is part of a national charter school organization, those who are working directly in the local school get to decide things such as, what extra curriculars and electives are offered, what type of community events will be held, and most importantly how they wish to teach certain topics.  

With this in mind, I wonder if maybe some reform movements are using Finland's autonomy based school system as a guide to creating not only academically (based on standardized testing) successful schools, but also creative, innovative, and supportive environments for teachers.  Like Laura stated, it makes sense that qualified people would prefer to work in a positive work environment.  For schools that have the power to create their own autonomy, like my future school,we must focus on taking advantage of this autonomy, and using it to create an engaging learning environment for students.  On a larger, policy level, we must determine the consequences of such controlled teaching environments that leave teachers with no freedom to perform what they have been trained to do.

America's current system makes me wonder if maybe we just don't trust teachers enough to be successful, and effective on their own.  Sahlberg repeatedly states that Finland's system is based on a profound trust of teachers. I think this is something that we lack in our American education system that is influencing so many areas of our education policy.  What needs to be done to create more trust for our teachers?  Do high performing teachers come first and then a culture of trust is developed? Or does trust have to develop, that will lead to autonomy,..., and eventual high performing teachers?  It's somewhat of a chicken or the egg problem, but I think it's worth discussing on a bigger scale. 

Uninhibited's picture


I had some of the same thoughts and questions you highlight here as I read about Finland's attitude towards teachers. I do think that is has a lot to do with the autonomy that teachers have both in creating curriculum, ability to be creative and take risks, making their own assessments for students etc. I also think that time is a big factor and that teachers in Finland are given time to work on issues related to classroom education that is not just direct instruction. Perhaps this is what makes Finnish schools into learning communities. Whenever we have a conversation about teacher roles in the US, I always wonder about them getting burned out, it seems like in Finland teachers also have a lot of responsibilities, but they're given the time in the school day and outside to work through these things so that they don't seem like burdens. On page 91, I was struck by the difference in teaching hours of teachers in Finland vs. those in the US. It seems like this makes a huge difference when it comes to collaborating with other teachers on those "non-instruction" responsibilities that are so vital to learning and schooling. As Sahlberg says in page 91, "teachers have time to work together during a school day and understand how their colleagues teach." I think this is such an important aspect of teaching, continuous collaboration, that it doesn't make sense that schools could function without it. In general I think that giving teachers more time to focus on these aspects of schooling is beneficial for all. The students could have curriculum and assessment that is more thought-out and responsive, teachers could receive and give feedback to colleagues. I guess every job requires more time, but I think that teaching REALLY requires more time in order for to be meaningful. 

ellenv's picture

small changes

After last the discussion that we had last week in class, I started to try to think of small things that could be changed in education that might had a greater impact on the system as a whole. Thinking about change in these terms made change seem more managable. In the process of thinking about these small changes I, too, came back to the idea of time several times. Giving teachers more time outside of classroom instruction runs counter to a lot of the movements in education in the U.S. today - just look at the HCZ extended days/years in Tough's book. But if you think on a human level, this time means everything. Extra time to slow down and create deliberate change/instruction/connections in the classroom is not going to come from extended instruction time, it is going to come from time given to teachers to think about, discuss, and create diolouge around what they are doing in the classroom. This thinking and conversation can happen within one teacher by themselves, or with other teachers, but I do think that increasing the time for these conversations would be beneficial for teachers and students. While the expansion of time for teachers outside of the classroom seems simple and small, Im sure that there are many people who would argue for the complete opposite. I would like to remind those people of the tortise & the hare. This story isnt education research, thats for sure, but I do think that there are important lessons that come from it that can be applied to the context of education (on multiple levels).

mencabo's picture

Trust, Freedom and Time

           “Indeed, importing specific aspects of the education system from Finland, whether it be curricula, teacher training, special education or school leadership, is probably of little value to those aiming to improve their own education systems” (133). This quote reminded me of last week’s class/silent discussion. From the comments on the sheets, it seemed that some people felt a sense of anxiousness and worry that there wasn’t much that we could “import” from Finland. To some extent that could be true; however, the remaining chapters of the book revealed that the “secret” or the “magic” behind Finland’s success is actually not culture-specific and is quite obvious especially to students like us who study education and are passionate about improving the various operating systems.

            Trust, freedom and time are the three themes/ideas that I am taking away from the book. Since education is human work, it is natural that we should first build strong relationships with our colleagues, students, etc. Sahlberg pointed out that NCLB and education systems like the U.S. that promote high stakes environments create a “fragmentation in instruction, further interventions uncoordinated with the basic classroom teaching…As a consequence, schools experienced too many instructional directions for any student” (132). High stakes environments suggest that very little trust exist between the players of the change game: “there is a crisis of suspicion” (127).  

            From trust comes freedom. “Curriculum planning is the responsibility of teachers, schools, and municipalities, not the State” and there are “no strict national standards for or descriptions of student learning outcomes that Finnish schools must include in their curriculum” (88). After all, if child-centered or personalized learning is to take place, then it doesn’t make sense to make the outcomes rigid and set in stone. This allows teachers and students to be more innovative and to engage in purposeful learning.

            Of course, positive changes are also products of moments of failure. Sahlberg really emphasized the fact that it took at least three decades for Finland to create a strong education system. I understand that we all want to find ways to solve the problem quickly, but the field of education calls for time and patience. I want to clarify that patience is not the same as passivity and inaction. Patience to me means being able to weave the different movements and thinking of people and dealing with situations in a way that contributes to the betterment of the environment. It also means that as teachers we have to be patient with ourselves and accept our mistakes and failures when something doesn’t go as planned.

            In terms of policy and on the administrative level, I think those in charge or who will be in charge should first rethink their understanding of timeframes. I think this is especially challenging for a country that is very fast-paced and want things done quickly. Finland is much more laidback (meaning relaxed, not lazy) compared to the U.S. so I think that is another reason why they are able to make learning more fun and creative.

            In the end, all of our desired changes come from our personal attitudes and conduct – how do we act out our educational philosophy? As teachers, do we model the behavior that we expect from our students and colleagues? Reflective practice permeates every aspect of teaching. Finland is getting a lot of attention because they made it work. In other words, each of us has to model the way first and if that works, we’ll deal with the publicity later and the big systems. J

Sarah's picture

Although I haven't finished

Although I haven't finished the reading yet, I really appreciated your post and think that keeping in mind the key themes of trust, freedom, and time will be helpful as I wrap up.  I really liked what you said about "education is human work, it is natural that we should first build strong relationships with our colleagues, students, etc."  I think it's so important to remember how important the social aspect of school is (which makes me think of Dewey).  At the same time, however, although I think we can learn from Finland, I believe in general Americans are less trusting of one another.  In my post last week I mentioned the culture of suing someone is much less present in Scandinavian countries than it is in America.  Also, America is much less homogeneous and I think this, sadly, adds to distrust.  Many people tend to, at least at first, be hesitant to trust someone who doesn't look/act/talk like them.  One way I think that would help to build this trust to create a community within your classroom- have all the students interact, and know your students/their families outside of the classroom.  However, this takes up teachers’ time, and I don't know if Sahlberg mentions any of this.  I don't know if this means it's not necessary or part of Finnish schools.  It is yet another thing that would take time (especially something like home visits), and Sahlberg may argue this use of time is less meaningful than allowing teachers to have more free time to develop their teaching.  Another way to build trust would to be lessen the constant testing, but given the national and state regulations on testing, I’m not sure how likely that is.

I both appreciate and struggle with this issue of change taking time.  While I agree that change generally does take time, I also worry about the students who can't wait.  However, I think a long term perspective of change in education is helpful because it creates a broader picture.  For example if you are looking at the span of time from 2007-2010, a downturn of events in 2008 may be really misleading because of the recession.  However, if you’re looking from 2000-2010, the reason for the downturn of events in may be more clear and seem less extreme.  Again, I feel conflicted because although failure is a part of change, some students don't need any more failure.

mschoyer's picture

Community building in Finnish vs. American schools

I also agree that "education is human work, it is natural that we should first build strong relationships with our colleagues, students, etc." I like your point that people are most likely less trusting of those who are different than themselves, but does this actually detract from a sense of community? I'm sure this distrust can lead to a lack of community in any situation, including schools, but I wonder how this actually plays into American schools. While America is far less homogenous than Finland, there are definitely some American schools that are homogenous while others are very diverse. Do the homogenous American schools have a better sense of community than the diverse ones? Is there a pattern? Or does the sense of community in Finnish schools come from something else entirely? Personally, I think community building, regardless of diversity or lack there of, is most important, but I am curious about other factors playing into this as well. 

Sarah's picture

Yes, I think these are all

Yes, I think these are all good questions, that didn't specifically come to mind for me.  The question of homogeneous schools having a better sense of community especially interests me; I would say they might, but they obviously isn't always the case.  It's not that difference is a problem, but we have a harder time confronting difference and seeing diversity as an opportunity rather than a challenge a lot of the time, I'd say.  I think the homogenity is a component of the the Finnish schools sense of community, but isn't the only factor.  Definitely worth thinking about though.

rbp13's picture


I think that your synthesis of Sahlberg's book is very accurate you summarize the key factors that contribute to Finnish success but are largely absent in the U.S. education system. I also appreciate the way that you relate these three elements to one another; specifically, your assertion that "From trust comes freedom". It seems that much of the trust that is placed in teachers stems from the Finnish culture, and their perception of their position in it. Since education is seen as more than transferring knowledge, it is expected that teachers will recognize the inherent value in their work; Sahlberg writes, "Teaching as a profession is closely tied to sustaining Finnish national culture and building an open and multicultural society...Teachers are, according to their own opinions, essential players in building Finnish welfare society" (72). One aspect of the U.S. education system that I find very frustrating is that it is assumed that teachers do not recognize the importance of their work, and need external incentives, such as the pressure of standardized testing, to entice them to do their jobs. While it is true that there are unmotivated teachers, there are disengaged workers in almost every American profession. Although we cannot ignore this problem, it does not seem logical to assume that this is the norm. Rather than believing that teachers lack the necessary motivation to do their jobs well, it seems that it would be more effective to emphasize teachers that are succeeding. 

On a somewhat unrelated note, another thing that was salient to me in this reading and that seems relevant to acknowledge is Table 4.1 (p. 103), which contrasts elements of GERM (the Global Education Reform Movement) and the Finnish system. While the differences between these approaches to learning are clear, I mention them here because they are factors, in addition to trust, freedom, and time, which define Finnish education and help it to prosper. 

et502's picture

2 things

I really liked your reading - I think these key points of trust, freedom, and time will stick in my head really well.

However, I still feel stuck on this idea of trust and freedom. I understand that the two concepts work together, but I'm not convinced that one informs the other; I think they happen jointly. Does that make sense? So for instance, if you're trying to catch a butterfly (butterfly = teachers' creativity), you can't grab at it or force it to do anything. That could crush the butterfly or scaring it away. But trusting that, in time* it will eventually land, and at the same time giving it freedom and space to do so, could lead to a successful interaciton. Terrible metaphor. I know. I feel foolish writing this out, but I'm trying to explain this to myself and at the same time, figure out what we can learn - not how to "input" the same system as Finland, but how to provide our own forms of trust and freedom for teachers.

So butterflies are bad metaphors again, because they aren't just going to land - and besides, our system needs more intentionality. But one of the things I liked about Finland's system is that they leave curriculum development to the professionals - policymakers don't assume that they know more about education than people who are in this specific field. So maybe one way of catching the butterfly is by finding a way to genuinely trust people and then let go - degrees and years of practice in the field of education should count for something, right? Does any of this make sense?