Saturday, January 21, 2012

creating a culture of learning...

Several years ago, Clear Spring School was approached by parents in a nearby city wanting to duplicate our school in their town, making the quality and character of our education more easily available to them. But how can someone duplicate a culture of learning?

Educational visitors hoping to learn something from Finland face the same dilemma. How can they take advantage of the Finnish success story? Is there some small thing that can be copied, or must the whole system be duplicated? That would seem an impossible task.

A friend Elliot Washor, co-founder with Dennis Littky of the Met School and Big Picture Schools sent me a book about the life and educational effects of Uno Cygnaeus published in English on the two hundredth anniversary of his birth. One cannot fully understand the success of Finnish schools without understanding the contributions of Uno Cygnaeus and those who influenced the development of his thoughts about education. If you are interested you may find some important insight in this book,  In the Spirit of Uno Cygnaeus--Pedagogical Questions of Today and Tomorrow.

The book was published by the University of Jyväskylä, the school Uno Cygnaeus established to educate teachers for his folk schools. One thing you will learn early on in the book was that Cygnaeus was regarded as a national hero, and that same sense of heroic regard for teachers was a thing that transferred and became part of the Finnish National Culture. You can see how far we've yet to go in American Educational reform. Cygnaeus also believed that ALL students should be exposed to the dignity and honor of honest labor.

Make, fix and create...

No comments:

Post a Comment