There’s not a lot I can add to the two statements below, other than “bravo!” and “encore”, so I just thought I’d share them. Words to live by. FYI: on any scale of international rankings of excellence in Education, both Finland and Singapore (and Canada) are in the top five.
Prime Minister Lee of Singapore (Aug. 29, 2010):
“I think we should do more to nurture the whole child, develop their physical robustness, enhance their creativity, shape their personal and cultural and social identity, so that they are fit, they are confident, they are imaginative and they know who they are.
“Every child is different, every child has his own interests, his own academic inclinations and aptitudes and our aim should be to provide him with a good education that suits him, one which enables him to achieve his potential and build on his strengths and talents. Talent means talent in many dimensions, not just academic talent but in arts, in music, in sports, in creative activities, in physical activities.
“We need to pay more attention to PE, to arts and music and get teachers who are qualified to teach PE and art and music.
“Give each one a tailored and holistic upbringing, so you get academic education, moral education, physical education, art and a sense of belonging and identity. We aim to build a mountain range with many tall peaks but with a high base, not just a single pinnacle where everybody is trying to scramble up one single peak. And we are realizing this vision.”
Timo Lankinen, Director-General, Finnish National Board of Education (Sept. 13, 2010):
“We are not actually talking a lot about numeracy or literacy, the agenda for change is more about increase of the arts and physical education into curriculum, and the highlight of 21st century skills or as we call them citizen skills.
“We have relatively small class sizes so there is the possibility to individualize that attention for each children (sic) ability to personalize … but we have questions to ask ourselves, do we enable teachers and students to flourish enough, for example giving them individual aspirations, and engaging students so that there will be more experiential learning.
“Looking at basic education and success in PISA [Program for International Student Assessment] results, we have to bear in mind that children also participate in early childhood education … which is mainly through play and interaction.
“We will be great when every student and stakeholder says for example ‘I love school’ and ‘I’m doing well in school’ – so it’s not only the subject knowledge we are seeking after.”