Finding Similarities and Differences in Finnish and American Classrooms

Finnish classroom

Finnish classroom

Across many fronts, Finland is an international leader in education policy and student achievement. Selena Taylor, Kingsbury Middle School Math Teacher, recently returned from three months in Jyväskylä, Finland as a part of Kingsbury’s Annual Educational and Cultural Exchange Program with The Niilo Mäki Institute. During her time in Finland, Ms. Taylor visited the local schools to observe and learn from teachers, staff and specialists about Finland’s successful approach to teaching children with learning disabilities. Here are some of her observations: Continue reading

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Answering the Call for Social and Emotional Education in Schools

Imagine you are a teacher looking out at a classroom of students. They sit at their desks vacantly looking back at you, perhaps whispering to each other, or maybe laying their heads down. Now imagine thought bubbles rising from their heads that summarize their emotions. Among them you read, “I’m angry at my brother for touching my stuff” and “I’ll go crazy if I have to sit still another minute” and “I’m worried about my mother returning home from prison” and “I’m excited because that boy I like told my bff that he likes me too!” Got all that? Ok, now teach them grammar or math or history. Continue reading