Home Topics in Depth Education When Finnish Teachers Work in America's Public Schools.

  • Smarmie Doofus (340 posts)
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    When Finnish Teachers Work in America's Public Schools.

    Haven’t posted on this topic for a while. Probably due to my gradual acceptance that it is pointless to do so, as the “political class” couldn’t care less since it has no  visceral connection to public education. ( Gee… aren’t they lucky!)  But this piece in the Atlantic should be instructive for anyone out there who really does care. Or still  thinks it’s important to at least PRETEND to care.

     

    >>>

    “I have been very tired—more tired and confused than I have ever been in my life,” Kristiina Chartouni, a veteran Finnish educator who began teaching American high-school students this autumn, said in an email. “I am supposedly doing what I love, but I don’t recognize this profession as the one that I fell in love with in Finland.”

    Chartouni, who is a Canadian citizen through marriage, moved from Finland to Florida with her family in 2014, due in part to her husband’s employment situation. After struggling to maintain an income and ultimately dropping out of an ESL teacher-training program, a school in Tennessee contacted her this past spring about a job opening. Shortly thereafter, Chartouni had the equivalent of a full-time teaching load as a foreign-language teacher at two public high schools in the Volunteer State, and her Finnish-Canadian family moved again. (Chartouni holds a master’s degree in foreign-language teaching from Finland’s University of Jyväskylä.)
    In Tennessee, Chartouni has encountered a different teaching environment from the one she was used to in her Nordic homeland—one in which she feels like she’s “under a microscope.” She’s adjusting to relatively frequent observations and evaluations of her teaching, something she never experienced in her home country. (A principal or an administrator in Finland, Chartouni noted, may briefly observe a teacher’s lesson, but not on a regular basis.)
    Already this autumn, she’s had a couple of visitors in her American classroom: a representative of a nearby university, where she’s completing studies to receive a local teaching license, and her “professional learning community” coach. A district administrator will come to visit her classroom, too. According to Chartouni, these three evaluators will make a few unexpected visits throughout this school year.

    Chartouni misses that feeling of being trusted as a professional in Finland.>>>>>

    The rest:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/11/when-finnish-teachers-work-in-americas-public-schools/508685/

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  • GZeusH (1054 posts)
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    1. Fascism on the level of the individual

    Everybody has to be scrutinized by the people in authority.  Never mind that the authorities don’t know what is going on, they were put in those positions because they were loyal and could be trusted.  It’s never about achieving a good end result, the law that has been laid down must be followed, no matter how obtuse it may be.

    Maybe if we yell “we’re number 1” loud enough, we can convince ourselves of what is patently untrue.

    Policy:  The mistaken notion that bossy people have that they can influence other people's behavior through majority rule.
    • Smarmie Doofus (340 posts)
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      3. I think you've got it… i.e. captured the crucial element…

      right here:

      “Never mind that the authorities don’t know what is going on, they were put in those positions because they were loyal and could be trusted.”

      There’s a precarious mindlessness to these systems; these hierarchies. the mindlessness ( and the systems) seduce a certain element. That element buys into the premise…. usually a lie; in this case, “public ed sucks because teachers are running a scam”….. and are more than willing to do , literally, whatever they’re told to do.

  • Arctic Dave (880 posts)
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    2. I think all professions are doing this now.

    Micromanagement has become the norm.

    “Evaluations” have taken on a whole different meaning.

    Now its about how they can get rid of you instead of helping you do your job better.

    • Smarmie Doofus (340 posts)
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      4. Alas. So it seems.

      Someone on the old ( contaminated) site once described the above situation as “cheap labor capitalism.”

       

      Really not very complicated.

  • LWolf (91 posts)
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    5. I miss that feeling

    of being trusted as a professional too; that trust became extinct in the U.S. with the onset of the standards and accountability movement at the state level, even before GWB and Rod Paige took it to the federal level, with the help of Ted Kennedy and George Miller.