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Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms

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Easy-to-implement classroom lessons from the world’s premier educational system. Finland shocked the world when its fifteen-year-olds scored highest on the first Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a set of tests touted for evaluating critical-thinking skills in math, science, and reading. That was in 2001; but even today, this tiny Nordic nation continues to amaze. How does Finnish education―with short school days, light homework loads, and little standardized testing―produce students who match the PISA scores of high-powered, stressed-out kids in Asia?

When Timothy D. Walker started teaching fifth graders at a Helsinki public school, he began a search for the secrets behind the successes of Finland’s schools. Walker wrote about several of those discoveries, and his Atlantic articles on this subject became hot topics of conversation. Here, he gathers all he learned and reveals how any teacher can implement many of Finland's best practices.

Remarkably, Finland is prioritizing the joy of learning in its newest core curricula and Walker carefully highlights specific strategies that support joyful K-12 classrooms and integrate seamlessly with educational standards in the United States.

From incorporating brain breaks to offering a peaceful learning environment, this book pulls back the curtain on the joyful teaching practices of the world's most lauded school system. His message is simple but profound: these Finland-inspired strategies can be used in the U.S. and other countries. No educator―or parent of a school-aged child―will want to miss out on the message of joy and change conveyed in this book.

240 pages, Hardcover

First published March 29, 2017

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Pasi Sahlberg

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Profile Image for Megan.
136 reviews
June 8, 2022
I liked it, but I'm surprised that more of the ideas didn't feel new or fresh to me. Especially considering for the last four years I've taught at a school that's in the bottom three districts in all of Missouri. I'll just say we aren't always on the cutting edge of best practices in education. I'm not sure if this all felt familiar because so many of Finland's strategies have already made their way here, or he's totally out of the loop with what's actually going on in U.S. classrooms. Or a mix of both.

That's not to say there's not some good info here, especially for new teachers. He mentions many of the biggest buzzwords/trends in education from the past 5-10 years like brain breaks, learning targets, gallery walks, KWL charts, student accountability, workshop models in reading and writing, and maybe most importantly--teachers being good to themselves and not working 80+ hour weeks. Again, not much of this was new to me but it may be to some and is still a good refresher.

Also I feel like much of is common sense. He had a section about how U.S. educators are very anti-textbook and had a hashtag going of #burnyourtextbook. Which, depending on the textbook, might be valid. Then he went on to say he was surprised to find that Finland had many classes that were lecturing or taking notes, or following the text pretty closely. First of all, it bothered me that often he tried to fit both countries into one "side" of argument. There are so many teachers in each country. I'm sure you'll find some type-A textbook nazis in both, as well as some more creative, project based learning types in both. But his takeaway from this was,"hey, you can use what you like or what fits your class out of the textbook. You don't have to use it ALL! Use your professional judgment!" Um, duh?

I loved that he made it a point to say we need to use technology intentionally. Most (good) districts have this huge push to be 1:1 for tech. Okay, cool, but I've not heard much as to WHY this is so good for our students? Yes, they need tech because we are an evolving society BUT but but....I've seen enough scary studies of too much tech literally changing kids' brains and development. I also want to know they can write, read, concentrate quietly, work in groups, discuss things without the aid of tech at all, You know, be a human. I just hate that so many districts jump on this 1:1 thing with all the chromebooks and iPads just to be competitive. If you can prove to me why this is great, go for it. But tech for the sake of it isn't a teaching strategy.

Finally, I just felt he could've gotten a bit deeper. The teachers in Finland are so carefree! They use their scheduled 15 min breaks to just chat and beg him to do the same. But naturally he's like, "ha, I can't, I have work to do!" And they take 45 min lunches. And basically they never work (much) past the last school bell. I just don't understand WHEN all this work behind planning and teaching is getting done then, and its never really explained. I've cut way back since my first year when I sometimes stayed at school till 7:30--you can ALWAYS find something to do. But this totally relaxed attitude didn't make sense either because how did the grading, laminating, prepping, finding of resources, phone calls, data collection, organizing, differentiating, copy-making, event-planning, decorating, writing of curriculum, etc etc get done? Beyond that, how are they so chill yet still have the highest scores in the world? I felt it was hinted at with all these little "ways to add joy" but not truly explained. Also--how would some of these models and strategies work with students who are in poverty, ELL, drastically below grade level, or have EXTREME violent behaviors or anger problems (if you're thinking, "ha, they wouldn't be in the regular classroom", that's false). It just felt very utopian, but I am coming from a pretty rough school. I don't expect the book to solve all of education's problems, but a bit more depth would've been nice. Still, an overall worthwhile read.
Profile Image for Muhammad Akhyar.
Author 1 book35 followers
October 7, 2017
Kita ini memang suka sekali menyederhanakan segala sesuatu. Bisa agar itu lebih mudah kita pahami, karena penjelasan sederhana itu lebih dekat dengan kehidupan kita. Bisa pula agar urusan itu cepat berlalu dan kita memang tak punya energi lebih untuk mengurusnya lebih lama.

Dari buku ini "isu" yang mengatakan bahwa anak-anak sekolah di Finlandia tidak memiliki PR tidaklah benar. Tentu saja pernyataan ini bukan lahir dari kunjungan dinas "ala-ala" selama beberapa hari. Kesimpulan ini ditulis oleh Tim Walker, guru dari Amerika Serikat, yang pindah ke Finlandia (isterinya orang Finlandia) dan mengajar di sana.

Dari latar belakangnya ini, saya sebagai pembaca mendapat keberuntungan yang tak terhingga. Membaca satu buku, mendapatkan dua perspektif sekaligus: cara Finlandia dan Amerika dalam melihat pendidikan dan bahkan bagaimana menjalani hidup.

Kembali ke soal PR. Pendidikan Finlandia tidak semata-mata perkara apakah anak-anak diberikan PR atau tidak, pulang lebih cepat atau tidak, tetapi bagaimana nilai-nilai hidup agar "tak lupa bahagia" bisa mereka pelajari di sekolah dan mereka terapkan dalam hidup mereka.

Ada jeda setiap beberapa belas menit pembelajaran, fokus sekolah dan sistemnya untuk memberantas segala macam perisakan (bullying), bahkan adanya diskusi antara siswa dan guru tentang bagaimana pembelajaran dievaluasi dan nilai akhir yang didapat siswa adalah beberapa hal yang dilakukan di sekolah-sekolah Finlandia. Lalu apakah dalam melaksanakan semua itu mereka dibantu dengan alat pendidikan yang paling maju? Tidak. Justru Tim melihat sendiri komputer di sekolah sudah banyak yang harus diganti. Lalu apakah dalam melaksanakan semua itu para guru harus kekurangan tidur untuk menyiapkan materi pembelajaran? Tidak. Justru Tim belum pernah melihat gaya penyiapan pembelajaran yang "sewoles" guru-guru Finlandia (ia membandingkannya dengan sejawatnya di Amerika).

Sepertinya memang permulaannya adalah guru. Akan tetapi rasa-rasanya kita tidak hanya sedang membahas kualitas guru (hard-skill-atau-pun-soft-skill dalam mengajar) tetapi terkait bagaimana orang-orang Finlandia secara umum melihat hidup dan bagaimana memperoleh kebahagiaan. Dibandingkan dengan orang-orang Amerika yang scarcity-minded, orang-orang Finlandia lebih abundance-oriented (https://www.theatlantic.com/business/...). Orang-orang Finlandia percaya bahwa sumber kebahagiaan itu berlimpah. Kamu menempuh rutemu sendiri untuk bisa mencapai kebahagiaanmu. Kebahagiaan bukanlah sumber daya terbatas sehingga harus berebut-rebut dengan yang lain, bahwa satu-satunya cara bahagia adalah berusaha mengambil semuanya dan tak menyisakan buat yang lain, tak ada kompetisi untuk berbahagia.

Cara melihat hidup seperti ini membuat guru-guru Finlandia fokus pada responsibility bukannya accountability. Sialnya, di sini (Indonesia) setelah era reformasi, penekanan terhadap aspek akuntabilitas terhadap guru semakin meningkat. Guru-guru menghabiskan banyak waktunya bukan memikirkan murid-muridnya, tetapi berkas-berkas pertanggungjawaban yang harus mereka kumpulkan. Karena rumit dan menyiksanya pekerjaan ini banyak di antara mereka yang bahkan harus membayar orang untuk mengerjakannya. Lahirlah apa yang disebut performance paradox.

Penekanan guru-guru Finlandia terhadap responsibility membuat mereka fokus pada apa yang harus mereka kerjakan. Mereka melakukan yang terbait bukan karena apa-apa yang mereka kerjakan sedang dan akan diawasi, tetapi karena itu adalah tanggung jawab mereka. Mereka bangga terhadap apa yang mereka lakukan. Sehingga suatu saat, ketika Tim melakukan pertemuan dengan para orang tua, mentornya di sekolah (guru senior) berbicara kepadanya, "Apakah kamu merasa terlalu mengakomodasi orang tua?" Tim kaget dengan pertanyaan itu. Mentornya melanjutkan, "orang tua ahli di rumah mereka masing-masing. Kita, para guru, adalah yang paling ahli di sekolah." Begitulah, guru-guru Finlandia, bukannya anti kritik dan tak terbuka, mereka meyakini profesionalisme mereka. Untuk mendidik tentu saja yang pertama seorang guru memang harus yakin bahwa ia memang memiliki kemampuan profesional sebagai guru.
June 16, 2020
Tittle : Teach Like Finland
Author : Timothy D. Walker
Type of book : Non-fiction-education
Publisher : W. Norton & Company.
Publication year : July 2017
Number of pages : 270
price : Rp. 75.900

Teach Like Finland is a book written by Timothy D.Walker, he is a teacher from America. This book tells about the educational system in Finlandia. What happened in Finlandia? The answer is this country was shocked the world by fifteen years old students who got highest scored on the first Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), this is a sets test of evaluation students critical thinking skills in a subject such as math, science, and reading. How does education in Finlandia give an effect to the students? As we know that, in Finlandia there is nothing homework and short school days. So, the students only focus to study at school. As a result, the burden of student assignments becomes light.
Timothy D.Walker is a teacher who started teaching in fifth grades students at a Helsinki public school. At that time, he began to search the secrets of education system in Finlandia and started to wrote his experience and those several discoveries. He was gathered all the strategies of several teachers that used in a class and explained to the others teachers how to implement those strategies. This book becomes best seller book, most of all teacher around the world have read this book because this book gives an advantage to the teacher and education. Through this book, there are 33 simple strategies that was written by Timothy D. Walker.
This book gives a new story and mindset towards the education system in European countries. Especially in Finland, this country Realize that the education system is more dominated by western-style learning systems, especially America. In contrast to Finland the country succeeded in its own way, not always with the learning paradigm that sat quietly in the classroom, ranking, competition, and only cognitive assessment to become standardized in society but they managed to become a country that has the best and number one education system around the world. Of course, this also triggers this book to be a best seller in several countries and even in our country. Besides, this book contains strategies and recommendations that are very easy to practice from a world-class education system. I am sure this book is already in hands of every educators and this book is recommended for every teacher.
There are so many facts that was surprising behind the success’s education in Finland. This is related to a variety of simple but meaningful strategies implemented in Finnish schools. These strategies are normative, and deliberately applied to support the happiness of teachers and students. Happiness is the secret of Finnish school success. They really pay attention to this happiness factor in the teaching-learning process. Because happiness is the key to success, not the goal of success. If you want to succeed, you must be happy in carrying out the process. In this case, what is meant is the teaching-learning process. Thus, Finland has a unique system that might look strange to other countries. The most striking is the amount of rest time, the least hours of study, and the absence of homework for students. But those all give a good effect to the students, they do not stressful about their duty in school.
First of all, talking about the content. In the content, there are fifth part that will be discussing in this book such as well-being (schedule brain breaks, learn on the move, recharge after school, simplify the space, breathe fresh air, get into the wild, keep the peace) belonging (recruit a welfare team, know each child, play with your students, celebrate their learning, pursue a class dream, banish the bullying, buddy up), autonomy (start with freedom, leave margin, offer choices, plan with your students, make it real, demand responsibility), mastery (teach the essentials, mine the textbook, leverage the teach, bring in the music, coach more, prove the learning, discuss the grades), and mind-set (seek flow, have a thicker skin, collaborative over coffee, welcome the experts, vacate on vacation, don not forget enjoy). Those are will be deeper to discuss and every topic will be divided into several strategies, and the total of strategies is 33 strategies.
When I was read this book, I come across many surprising facts, e.g. in Finland, students have common breaks, short school days, bright homework, long holidays and little standardised testing. I also learn that the education system finds it important to invest in certain values. The last of this book is talk about time-off (vacate on vacation) and about joy of teaching, and I find both of those topics important if one wants to instrument any of the suggested strategies. Taking time off to recharge is crucial if we want to be more productive and enjoy our work, and joy of teaching (learning) means that we’re not only passionate about what we’re doing in the classroom, but we actually enjoy the process of teaching (learning) in the class, which makes students happy. I think the focus in Finnish schools is more on evolving different life skills (e.g. mindfulness, personal relationships and self-awareness) than focused only on their academic accomplishments. The book is an attractive publication for those who are complicated in the education system: teachers, scholars, policy maker but also for parents, if they wish to learn more about the Finnish teaching and learning style in order to reach the purpose.
In here, I suggested several strategies from this book that the teacher may can follow such as:
schedule brain breaks
School in Finnish used to break after 45 minutes study there will be 15 minutes for take a rest. They believe that the students will be more focus after take a rest than before take a rest. They think that the students less focus when take a rest is late as usual. There are so many simple ways to breaks our brain such as playing a game or small conversation with their friends.
recruit a welfare team
in Finnish school usually every teacher will gather together. They will share their experience one to another and talk about how they teach their students in the class. In here, they build the development of friendship, sometimes the teacher has a meeting to discuss about the problem in the class. Not only the students but also the teacher should have sense belonging it will help to increase the students belonging in class. The teacher will feel that they belong with school and there is friends who always understand one to another and friends who they can talk to another about the job.
know each child
knowing every student in the class will increase students and teacher relationship in school. In Finnis school the teacher routinely greets their students by calling their name when entering the classroom. Not only that the teacher also sometimes has a casual talk with their students in lunch time. In here, the students will feel that teacher is friend for them. Besides, every teacher sometimes visits their students’ home to know their students better. I think this strategy is important that the teacher should do to know their students better.
play with your students
in the first day school, there is nothing regular class for a week. Finnish teacher usually plays with their students. The teacher will provide several games for their students. The fact is that the first day of school the students will feel bored and they should to adapt in new atmosphere, the role of teacher to make the students feel comfortable is that play with their students. I totally agree with this strategy. Usually the students do not ready to study in the first day of school, the teacher should make the students feel that school is like home. Besides, it also can gain closeness between students and teacher.
celebrate their learning
in Finnish school usually the students will have a project. In here, the students will do something. After the end of the class, the students should promote what they have made and present what they have done. I agree with this strategy, the teacher should appreciate student’s work in class. As a result, the students will feel proud of he/he self. I think celebrate students work will be a good way for the students to say thanks to the teacher.
pursue a class dream
it means that the teacher and students will choose and share project in classroom. Both teacher and student will work cooperatively to gain the purpose of study the subject. In this strategy the teacher will explain to the students what is the project that the students should do in order to reach the dream of leaning. Besides, the students should pay attention while teacher explain the materials it is to avoid misunderstanding.
banish the bullying
In Finnish school there is nothing bullying, because in Finland there is a program which do not tolerated with bullying the program called KIVA. Every school already implemented this program. KIVA is an acronym of Finnish word kiusaamista vastan that has mean in contradiction of bullying. KIVA significantly improved the mental health of children. The fact is that, bullying always be the problem in every school but Finland they are know how to handle bullying, as we know that, bullying is one of the factors which can decrease students’ happiness.
buddy up
in Finnish School, the older students will buddy up with younger students. They will play with younger students and help them with their schoolwork. This practice is good for the younger students, they will feel that they belonging at school and there is nothing seniority, because it will cause a bullying that can affect younger student graders. Usually, there is always a huge gap between older graders to younger graders in school, I think this strategy is really great to be practiced in every school. The younger students who are new in school will feel more belonging if the older grader can buddy up with them.
Further, thirty-three strategies outlined in this book are actually a collection of strategies undertaken by Finnish schools to achieve and maintain the happiness of students and teachers. With a fun learning process, students find it easier to focus and accept the subject matter. Explanation of these strategies is divided into 5 chapters. Since reading the first chapter of this book, I have been able to feel a class aura of calm and peace. Then I was amazed when it came to the title of the seventh strategy: Keeping Peace. Apparently maintaining peace is something that is deliberately held in Finnish school classes.
The one thing that I loved from this book is that the language is easy to understand, and it is like a diary from a teacher. The strategies are easy to applied for teacher in school without change the curriculum and national education system. In Finnish fun class ’strategies can also be applied by parents in supporting a comfortable learning atmosphere at home. Although the success of the Finnish education system is now stealing the world's attention, this system is not necessarily perfect. But throughout reading this book, I felt an atmosphere of teaching and learning that was full of enthusiasm and togetherness. There are no burdens or pressures on both students and teachers.
June 16, 2020

Do you know where Finland is? Have you ever heard about Finland before? Finland is known as a country that has an amazing education system in the world. In 2001, Finland surprised a whole world since the students there succeed in achieving the best score in PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment). For that reason, many countries make Finland the orientation of their education system.

Are you curious about the Finland education system? Here, the book entitled “Teaching like Finland” by Timothy D. Walker shared the experiences about the education system in Finland. Timothy D. Walker was a teacher in America before he decided to move to Finland and became a teacher there. Using his experience from became a teacher in America, Timothy applied his methods to teach the students in Finland. However, Timothy was surprised by the learning system there. The interaction between the students and teachers in his school he taught gave Tim a precious knowledge and experience. He found out the secrets and keys of a learning system that create successful schools in Finland. His book shared the strategies of teaching methods and how to implement them to the students.

There are 33 strategies for a joyful classroom that were shared by this book. One of the examples is Finland's schools apply the break time after each subject. By this strategy, students can use the break time by doing funny activities such as playing games, reading books, interacting with their classmates, and so on. This strategy is aimed to refresh the students’ brains and make the students more focused on the next subject. Not only used for Elementary students, but it can also be effective too for Junior and Senior high school students. Students with higher grades need to take a break from their learning activities because their subject is heavier than Elementary students.
Also, this book tells us that students need to have physical activity in order to create a fun learning activity. Maybe listening to the teacher’s explanation or the other students’ presentations and only stay at their desk will make the students feel bored. The learning activity can involve physical activity that will make the students more active. From the book, Timothy gave an example of this strategy by applying an ‘active gallery’ which asked the students to stick the presentation on the wall like they were exhibiting their presentation in the art gallery. Each presentation was given a number and the students should look around and have a tour of each presentation. The students were asked to learn and give comments to the presentation. However, students also are asked to do physical activity outside like playing, running, and many others to pass the time during the break of the class.
Besides the other strategies to make an effective learning activity for the students, this book shared interesting strategies for the teacher itself. The strategy is called “recharge after school”. As a teacher, we need to focus on our job by maintaining the quality of our self. Finland teachers used to limit their time to work and go back to their house after the end of the class. They do not bring their job to their house because they know that they need to have a rest to recharge their energy. Different from America or Indonesia. American teachers used to bring their work at home. Like from the book said, Tim, did not feel the pleasure of teaching because of too many things and work that he needs to do. This strategy is really effective for the teacher to maintain their performance in teaching activity. This book tells us that teachers also have a right to take a break and rest from their work.
What I like from this book is the author shared his own experience from becoming a teacher in Finland. He tells the reader the detailed condition of him when he became a teacher in America and Finland. He compares it and educates the readers. Therefore, the readers who relate and maybe have the same experience as the Author can take the value of this book.
The thing that I have got from this book is the collaboration between teachers, principals, and parents is an important thing to make a successful education system. Since the duty to educate the students is not only for the teachers, but also for the parents, and principals. Actually, there are so many interesting strategies that we can get from this book. If you are a teacher and interested in this book, it is a good chance for you to read and apply the strategies to your students.
June 20, 2020
Farid's Review "Teach Like Finland; 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms"

Synopsis: Teach Like Finland; 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms
It is no longer a secret that education in Finland is education with the best education system in the world. How could that happen? Isn't Finland a country that applied shorter school days than other schools around the world? Based on a survey conducted by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2001, Finland amazed the world with fifteen-year-old students who received the highest scores from all over the world. Finland continues to amaze the world by defeating America and Asia in tests conducted by PISA. Every three years, PISA conducts a survey of education throughout the world, and every three years Finland also wins the top rank. Then how can this happen? With the minimum of homework, short study time, and long holidays, could that be the reason for Finland as the country with the best education system in the world? What is the secret of education in Finland?

The secret about the good education system in Finland was revealed by a teacher from the United States Namely Timothy D. Walker who is now a teacher in Finland. He wrote a book entitled “Teach Like Finland; 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms”. It all began when Timothy D. Walker started to teach fifth-graders at the Helsinki public school, Finland. At that time, Walker began to find out what exactly students and teachers do during the teaching and learning process. He began to gather evidence and opinions that he could make as a reference for teaching-learning in the world. He began to write about what he found in Finland and made articles that were a hot topic of discussion throughout the world, especially in the field of education. In this book, he wrote a lot of strategies that can be used and applied in education, anywhere.

In this book, there are 33 strategies that are packed into 5 main chapters such as, well-being, belonging, autonomy, mastery, and mind-set. The strategy that Walker explains in this book gives an overview of what teachers and students in Finland do during the teaching-learning process. Strategies described by Timothy D. Walker in this book are generally how teachers in Finland handle the class and provide a comfortable situation for students. Surprisingly, timothy explained that education in Finland prioritizes the joy of learning in the education system. Strategies implemented in Finland as role models of education in the world put more emphasis on what students want and what students need. Combining learning activities with games, providing a comfortable learning environment makes Finland to be the best education system in the world. In his book, he explains that the strategy found in Finland is actually simple things that were never thought of before. However, this is able to have an extraordinary effect on education in Finland
However, can the strategies described by Timothy D. Walker be applied in Indonesia? This question will arise after reading this book. All the strategies described in the book teach like Finland; 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms can be applied anywhere, including in Indonesia. Many strategies can be used for education in Indonesia. It all depends on the teacher and students. Can it happen in Indonesia? Of course, it can. Starting from simple things like making the classroom environment and place of learning more comfortable for students, doing fun activities in learning, making activities that encourage students to move, and so on. Walker advised in his book: these Finland-inspired strategies can be used in the U.S. and other countries. No educator or parent of a school-aged child will want to miss out on the message of joy in this book.

Strengths of the book:
The use of narrative language makes it very easy to read for any circle of the readers. This book is not only intended for a teacher, but anyone can read it easily because it is based on real facts experienced by Timothy D Walker. There are also some kinds of information that tells what the chapter will contain. In each chapter some sub-chapter’s point to each strategy, this makes it easy for the reader to find out the main content of the discussion of each chapter.

Weaknesses of books:
This book does not provide pages in the table of content so that the reader cannot know the exact pages of the book. In this book, there is also diction and vocabulary which is in my opinion is too difficult to understand its meaning. The format of the text is not tidy that make the reader confuse. In each chapter, the story and the explanation are too complicated and too long. It does not focus on the points of the strategy. In this book, many citations are not necessary because the reader will only focus on the strategy adopted in Finland.
Profile Image for LM Huffman.
101 reviews6 followers
June 6, 2017
As someone who has been teaching for 17 years, I didn't find much here that was new. While it did affirm previous works I've read on the importance of mindset, purpose, autonomy and mastery (adding the importance of 'belonging,' which I found interesting since my independent school uses the hashtag #youbelonghere), I was looking for the holy grail: how do Finnish School teach curriculum with so little class time/homework and so many breaks? As someone who, like the author, works (or in his case, did work) through lunch every day, I wanted to know how these teachers have the luxury of taking 15 minute breaks for every 45 minutes of instruction. Is the curriculum the same between our two countries? Are their kids just sharper? No idea. He talked about how it was hard for him to get used to taking breaks in the teacher's lounge. Yeah. It would be for me too, because I have so much work to do.

Walker also discusses that Finland has no private/parochial schools, and that their curriculum (at least appears to be) nationalized. I suspect education in the US would be stronger if everyone had to go to public schools, because the parents who are especially engaged in their children's education and currently send them to private/parochial schools would be proactive in public education (joining those parents who already are; no disrespect intended). However, I blanch at the idea of a nationalized curriculum. Would we really want Betsy DeVos having the power to create a national curriculum? Yeesh.

Ultimately, this book was a disappointment. Perhaps it will be of greater value for newer teachers.
Profile Image for Seda Hovhannisyan.
132 reviews4 followers
July 20, 2019
Հիշու՞մ եք դպրոց/համալսարանում ամեն քննությունից առաջ ձեր սթրեսը, նյարդային ջղաձգումները, փտած կրթական համակարգը, անհարմար, փայտից աթոռները, ժամերով անհետաքրքիր, հին լեկցիաներն ու դասախոսներին։ Թույն։ Ֆինլանդիայում դրա մասին չեն լսել, չեն տեսել, չեն օգտագործում։ Սա երկիր ա, որի աշակերտներն ու ուսանողները առաջին տեղում են գիտելիքների մակարդակով, սա կրթական համակարգ ա, որտեղ ամեն ինչ հարմարացված ա քեզ, որտեղ դու ես ղեկավարում քո կրթությունը, որտեղ ամեն տարի քեզ ամառային ճամբար են ուղարկում` թարմանալու, ստեղ տնային աշխատանքերին հատկացվում ա շաբաթական մաքսիմում 5-6 ժամ, ստեղ չկան մոխրագույն պատեր, ստեղ ամեն ինչ կանաչ ա, դասերը կարճ են, արձակուրդները` երկար, կյանքը` անկրկնելի, դասախոսներն ու ուսուցիչները` մուննաթից զուրկ ու պարտաճանաչ։ Խորին ցավակցանքներս եմ հայտնում հայկական կրթական համակարգին, որտեղ դասաժամը 80 րոպեից դարձնում են 90, որովհետև մտածում են` քիչ ա, բայց էդ փոփոխությունից հետո մեկ ա դասախոսը 10-15 րոպե ուշանում ա, ու արդյունքում 1,5 ժամ ուշ տուն են գնում ուսանողները։ Ես էլ ոչ մի սպասելիք չունեմ Հայաստանից, որին դեռ մի 30 տարի պետք ա էս ցեխից դուրս գալու համար։ Շատ, ծայրահեղ շատ բան կա սովորելու այ սենց կազմակերպված ու պատասխանատու երկրներից, որտեղ օրերիդ մեջ կյանք կա, ոչ թե` կյանքիդ մեջ օրեր։
Profile Image for Ipeh Alena.
523 reviews17 followers
March 24, 2018
Dari penjelasan Walker pada bukunya yang populer ini, saya menangkap banyak hal yang juga tengah diterapkan oleh seorang praktisi pendidikan bernama Bukik Setiawan. Saya pernah menuliskan ulasan tentang bukunya yang berjudul Anak Bukan Kertas Kosong dan Bakat Bukan Takdir. Melalui kedua buku tersebut saya juga dikenalkan beberapa kutipan dan penerapan pendidikan yang pernah ditulis oleh Ki Hajar Dewantara melalui bukunya yang berjudul pendidikan.

Beberapa inti yang saya tangkap, yaitu :

Anak-anak bukan makhluk hidup yang tak memiliki hak untuk memilih, sehingga memberi mereka kebebasan dalam proses belajar merupakan sesuatu yang bukan saja menyenangkan bagi mereka tapi juga membantu mereka memahami segala sesuatunya dengan baik.

Mengajar sesuatu sesuai dengan karakter anak-anak. Memang tampaknya sulit terlebih jika anak murid yang diajar sangatlah banyak, itulah mengapa di Finlandia dibuat waktu istirahat di sela jam belajar, untuk membantu guru mengetahui bagaimana gaya belajar anak muridnya.

Sekolah selama satu hari penuh, bukan sebuah terobosan agar anak-anak mampu menjadi cerdas dan mendapat pengetahuan yang mumpuni. Tapi, bisa menjadikan mereka lelah dan tak mampu berkonsentrasi secara penuh. Ini justru buruk untuk anak-anak karena mereka tidak bisa menyerap pelajaran dengan baik.

Sudah sepatutnya anak-anak diajari tentang kesadaran diri mereka melalui praktek yang kecil seperti memberi mereka tanggung jawab, memberikan mereka kebebasan untuk memilih, menuntun mereka untuk memilih pilihan sesuai dengan kemampuan mereka serta melakukan segala hal yang mereka mampu sendiri tanpa bergantung pada orang lain.

Semakin rutin dan banyak waktu untuk anak-anak istirahat maka akan semakin baik bagi mereka untuk fokus selama pelajaran.
1 review
June 24, 2017
I couldn’t put this book down. It’s a mindful walk in and outside the classroom, with passionate and positive practices for one who is committed to bringing joyful explorations into the classroom.
I have taught for more than a decade, levels K-12 in the U.S. and find multiple strategies from this insightful piece that will work for my students as well as bring balance to my life.

Really it’s about you and your mindset, and if you’re committed to building autonomy, building trust, and supporting the whole well-being of a child, then Timothy D. Walker’s book, Teach Like Finland, will speak to you.
Profile Image for Zainab Alqassab.
49 reviews22 followers
September 10, 2019
ينقل الكاتب تجربته الشخصية في مجال التعليم في دولتين: الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية وفنلندا. يقارن الكاتب بين نظام التعليم في الدولتين من عدة جوانب من خلال استعراض العديد من الاستراتيجيات التي صنفها تحت خمسة بنود أسماها العناصر الأساسية لتحقيق السعادة داخل الصف.

استمتعت بقراءة الكتاب على الرغم من أنني كنت مهتمة أكثر بالمرحلة الإعدادية فتوقعاتي كانت مختلفة بعض الشي حيث أن الكتاب بشكل عام يتمحور حول المرحلة الإبتدائية، وعلى الرغم من إتفاقي مع الكاتب في كثير من النقاط التي يمكن الإستفادة منها وتطبيقها في مدارسنا، أعتقد أن إشتراكي مع الكاتب في نفس التجربة كان سبب تفاعلي بالدرجة الأولى مع الكتاب حيث أن العديد من النقاط المذكورة أجدها غير منطقية أو مبالغ فيها بعض الشيء .

من النقاط التي رأيتها منطقية وقد تكون فعلاً سبب من أسباب صنع الفارق بين نظام التعليم في فنلندا وباقي الدول هي:
١. تركيز الأخرى على الإنجاز الأكاديمي للطلبة بينما الأولى تركز على تقديم تعليم يستمتع فيه الطالب. تقديم الإنجاز الأكاديمي كأولوية له سلبيات كبيرة على المعلم والطالب نفسه ولا يعتبر مقياس للتعلم .

2. الثقة في الطلبة والسماح لهم بتحمل وممارسة المسؤولية من سن مُبكرة. كما جذبني الأمثلة التي قدمها عن استقلالية الأطفال في فنلندا وإعطاءهم الفرص للتجربة و أداء المهام المطلوبة منهم بدون تدخل من الكبار. ( أتذكر في أول فصل لي اعترضت على ممارسات كثيرة تعزز الإتكالية والإستهتار عند الطلبة وجادلت أن الطلبة عندهم القدرة ويجب أن يتحملوا المسؤولية ولكن الرد دائماً كان المعلم مُحاسب ومساءل في الجانب الأكاديمي والخوف من تدني الدرجات باعطاء الطلبة المسؤولية لذلك علينا أن نفعل كل شيء عنهم).
3. أعجبتني استراتيجية التعليم القائم أو الذي يعتمد على الطبيعة وربما تكون الاستراتيجية الوحيدة في الكتاب بالنسبة لي جديدة. ربط التعليم بمهارات الحياة والطبيعة أجده يشكل فارق كبير بالنسبة للمتعلمين.
4. رتبة المدير وانخراطه في السلك التدريسي، مع وجود فريق من الخبراء المتخصصين والتعاون فيما بينهم وبين المعلمين في حل مشاكل الطلبة ( الاعتقاد والنظرة الموجودة في فنلندا أن المعلم لا يتحمل مسؤولية التعليم وحده بل هي عملية تعاون بين جميع الأطراف داخل المدرسة).

كما استمتعت بقراءة الفصل المتعلق بكيفية توفير بيئة صفية جيدة للتعليم والمعلومات المتعلقة بربط الموسيقى بالتعليم وتأثيرها على الجهاز العصبي وتطوير الذاكرة والتركيز . * إشارة الكاتب الى اتباع فنلندا الطريقة التقليدية في التدريس *.

اقتباس من مقدمة الكتاب:
“ If you are able to do that with the ideas that follow, then you’ll be teaching a bit like Finland.”.
بعد الإنتهاء من قراءة الكتاب وجدت أن الإقتباس مبالغ فيه بعض الشيء؛ لأن الاستراتيجيات التي استعرضها الكاتب معظمها يتم تطبيقها حتى في البحرين والكاتب بنفسه يعترف في الكتاب أنها ليست مبتكرة وليست جديدة إنما فنلندا تتبع سياسة استعارة الأفكار التربوية وتعديلها ثم تطبيقها. النقطة الثانية تتعلق بالطلاب. الإنطباع الذي تركه كلام الكاتب عن طلابه في عقلي أنهم حكماء، أذكياء، مُحبون ومقبلون على التعلم، مُبدعون وبشكل عام مثاليون( لا يوجد تعب في جذب انتباههم). لا أعلم صراحة هل كنت أقارن طلبته بالمرحلة الإبتدائية بطلبتي في المرحلة الإعدادية أو نظام التعليم الإبتدائي في فنلندا يصنع الفارق!. الراحة الكبيرة التي ينعم بها المعلمون في فنلندا والإسترخاء الدائم يجعلني أتساءل إذاً متى يعملون؟ متى ينجزون؟ متى يتم التجهيز والتحضير للدروس؟!. المشكلات العالمية التي تعاني منها جميع الأنظمة التعليمية كيف تتعامل معها فنلندا؟!.

في مقدمة الكتاب خمسة عناصر أساسية من اقتراح الفنلنديين لنتائج أداءهم في PISA في 2001 أجدها منطقية أكثر من الاستراتيجيات التي لا تحمل أي شي جديد. كل العناصر مهمة ولها دور ولكن أكثر عنصرين انجذبت لهم وبإمكاني إضافتهم للأربع نقاط السابقة وأعتقد بإمكان الإستفادة منهم في البحرين هما : الكيفية والأعمال التي يقضي فيها الطلاب أوقاتهم خارج المدرسة. ثانياً: تعزيز وضع المعلمين ورفع معايير المهنة لمستوى أعلى.

وفي النهاية مراجعة بعض المفاهيم والاعتقادات السائدة داخل المجتمع وفي النظام التعليمي نفسه والتصورات عن العلم وعملية التعليم ومحاولة تصحيحها. وعي أولياء الأمور بأهمية التعليم وأساليبه غالباً ما يشكل عقبة كبيرة. قراءة مقدمة الكتاب كافية في نظري للأشخاص المهتمين بمعرفة أسباب تصدر فنلندا للمركز الأول، أما باقي الكتاب فهو جيد للأشخاص الراغبين في الإطلاع على الإستراتيجيات التي يتم تطبيقها في المدارس.
Profile Image for Carla.
943 reviews
July 8, 2017
This book has the greatest title- I couldn't wait to read it....and then it was such a disappointment. If the title had been different, I might have felt less let down, but it truly raised my expectations and then didn't meet them. I felt that the author didn't have much knowledge of the Finnish ed system (just what he saw in his classroom for 2 years) or even the American system, for that matter. He seems to have been a fairly traditional teacher, with little experience in the classroom before moving to Finland. The information about the Finnish ed system seemed superficial and I didn't learn very much from the strategies he shared. I picked up a few ideas, but I was expecting a lot more.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Klaudia_p.
488 reviews81 followers
October 3, 2019
Całkiem interesujące spojrzenie na fińską edukację z perspektywy Amerykanina. Czyta się całkiem przyjemnie, choć jak dla mnie za mało w tej książce porównań między amerykańskim systemem edukacji a fińskim. Walker za często też wracał do tego, o czym pisał wcześniej albo na samym początku, co niesamowicie mnie irytowało. Mimo tego cieszę się, że sięgnęłam po "Fińskie dzieci uczą się najlepiej". Czytałam z zainteresowaniem!
January 8, 2021
เวิ่นเว้อสไตล์ Non Fiction สัญชาติอเมริกันครับ ประมาณว่ามีงานวิจัยบอกแบบนั้นแบบนี้ ไปเจอจริงมาแบบนี้ ผนวกกับกรณีศึกษา สอดแทรกประสบการณ์ของตัวเองเข้าไปหน่อย

ผมว่าเนื้อหาดีนะ ได้เห็นความแตกต่างระหว่างการสอนและการทำงานของครูแบบอเมริกันกับฟินแลนด์ แต่น้ำเยอะไปหน่อย จริงๆ เขียน 50 หน้าแบบเนื้อเน้นๆ ก็น่าจะจบ���ล้ว บางช่วงตอนเลยรู้สึกฝืดมากเลย
Profile Image for Vivian.
2,397 reviews
June 29, 2017
I've heard a little about the education culture of Finland so was very excited about what I might find in this book. Overall, I was disappointed. While there ARE a lot of good ideas, they are strung together by quotes from other authors and studies. What links them are anecdotes from the author, who appears to have only four years of teaching under his belt -- two in Boston and two in Helsinki. He has a semblance of knowledge, enough to have opinions about how both America and Finland could learn from each other but not enough to fully embrace either model.

Enough of that. Sigh. On the bright side ...

He divides his areas of inquiry into five intriguing categories:
Well-being, Belonging, Autonomy, Mastery, and Mind-set. In each of these there are six or seven sub-categories.

"Well-being" includes 1) schedule brain breaks (Finland's schools have 15 min. breaks for every 45 minutes of class wherein the students go outdoors for play and the teachers gather in the lounge); 2) learn on the move; 3) recharge after school; 4) simplify the space; 5) breathe fresh air; 6) get into the wild; 7) keep the peace.

"Belonging" includes 1) recruit a welfare team; 2) know each child; 3) play with your students; 4) celebrate their learning; 5) pursue a class dream (here he spends a lot of time making it clear that this should be student driven, not teacher driven); 6) banish bullying (here he talks about their bully-proofing protocol); 7) buddy up.

"Autonomy" includes 1) start with freedom; 2) leave margin (wiggle room in daily lesson plans and curriculum); 3) offer choices (within the scope of the prescribed outcomes); 4)plan with your students; 5) make it real; 6) demand responsibility (as opposed to accountability).

"Mastery" includes 1) teach the essentials; 2) mine the textbook, 3) leverage the tech (meaning here the tech is there to support learning and not the other way around); 4) bring in the music (music education supports curriculum and in fact enhances learning, especially in math); 5) coach more (don't be the sage on the stage, but let children learn by doing and circulate among them through this process); 6) prove the learning; 7) discuss the grades.

"Mind-set" includes 1) seek flow; 2) have a thicker skin; 3) collaborate over coffee; 4) welcome the experts; 5) vacate on vacation; 6) don't forget the joy.

Hmmm. Looking over these summaries it appears that there is really nothing new here. But there is! One really MUST read through the book to grasp the concepts listed. There is so much more to this and I think worth the investment of time. There is a lot to ponder, perhaps some surprises. Mostly, what he found in Finland was a more organic approach to teaching, learning, collaborating,
and so forth. There is much value in looking at what we do through the lens of what others do, questioning, examining, evaluating, and seeing what we might tweak where we are.

Profile Image for Jennifer  Cutler.
514 reviews6 followers
August 7, 2019
The ideas he espouses are neither "revolutionary" to education, nor ideas that most dedicated classroom teachers, who have emerged from more recent teacher education programs, aren't using. What's most problematic in the US is the educational policy and the administrative bureaucracy. Working in private vs public schools, I've seen the first hand results of running schools through politics (public education.) Certainly more teachers are demanding recess, music, art, collaborative time, but the boards who dictate the finances are cutting those programs without understanding implications. One of the best classes I took in grad school focused on the business of education. Because almost all board members - and politicians - have gone through school as a student, they believe they know enough about schools. What Finland, and other nations, have done to improve student learning is professionalize teachers. Walker briefly mentions "Teach for America" when comparing teaching training in Finland to the States, but without fully delving into the subject of teacher training more, it's difficult to understand why the professionalism of educators is so often questioned in the USA. And then we're back at policy - because until teachers are respected and valued more, with pay and authority, there will always be questionable policies passed by those who don't understand teaching. Yes, Finland has an innovative school system but what Walker fails to realize is that so many educators in the US have been advocating for exactly those joyous structures... only to have it fall on the deaf ears of policy makers. Teach like Finland: respect the profession.
Profile Image for Phakin.
445 reviews145 followers
October 18, 2021
อ่านจบแล้วได้ข้อสรุปสั้นๆ เลยว่า ไม่ว่าจะคิดว่าครูของคุณสอนหนังสือห่วยแค่ไหน แต่ควรรู้ไว้ว่าการสอนหนังสือให้ดีเป็นเรื่องโคตรยาก ใครๆ ก็ทำได้ แต่โคตรยาก เพราะมันไม่ใช่เรื่องคุณลักษณะส่วนตัวหรือจิตวิญญาณครูอะไรมากไปกว่าระบบและโครงสร้างการศึกษาที่ค่อนข้างพร้อมสนับสนุนการเรียนรู้ (ไม่ว่าจะระบบสวัสดิการ คุณภาพโรงเรียน หรือกระทั่งคุณภาพตำราเรียนที่เอามาใช้ได้เลยโดยไม่ต้องใช้เวลามหาศาลกับการคิดออกแบบนวัตกรรมการศึกษาให้เว่อวัง) รวมไปถึงความไว้วางใจและให้อำนาจกับตัวนักเรียนในฐานะผู้ออกแบบการเรียนรู้และร่วมเรียนรู้ไปพร้อมกับครูด้วย

การศึกษาแบบนี้จึงไม่จำเป็นต้องมีครูที่โคตรเก่งเหนือคนอื่นๆ แต่จะทำให้ทุกคนเก่งพอสมควร พอๆ กัน ใกล้ๆ กัน และนักเรียนจะค่อนข้างมีบทบาทในการคิดว่่าอยากรู้เรื่องอะไร และเพื่อจะเรียนรู้เรื่องหนึ่งๆ ต่อให้ไม่ใช่เรื่องที่อยากเรียนรู้ เราต้องทำอะไรบ้าง
Profile Image for Tami.
44 reviews
July 3, 2017
I am a brand new teacher...at age 47. When I first went back to school, I read a lot of articles on Finland schools and was fascinated by their success. Now that I've finished school and am ready for my own classroom, this book is timely. I really enjoyed this book because it fits well with my teaching philosophy. I appreciated the ways to incorporate strategies into any classroom. This book is a really good guide for new teachers, or anyone who wants to bring more joy into their classroom. I view this book as a guide and something I will read over and over again. If I had the opportunity to go to Finland and teach, I wouldn't pass it up, but this book is the next best thing.
Profile Image for Crystal.
78 reviews8 followers
June 9, 2017
Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms by Timothy D. Walker offers tidbits of inspiration and practical advice to American teachers and homeschooling families alike.


While it’s no secret most of what Mr. Walker’s book showcases why many American households decide to homeschool, I found it extremely beneficial to read cover to cover.

I first noticed Mr. Walker’s blog Taught by Finland a few years ago in my homeschooling research journey – Again, someone once said to me “if you don’t want to homeschool, don’t research it.” I found his articles, like this one, in the Atlantic, to be a refreshing reminder to all parents and teachers to help our children find joy in their learning again.

So when Mr. Walker – an American teacher turned Finnish teacher – planned to publish his book, I was probably one of the first crazy moms to email him my support and let him know how anxious I was to get my hands on it… and here’s why:


When everyone else in America (and the world, really) is scrambling to figure out why our young generations are not only falling behind but are more stressed and over-medicated than ever before, Mr. Walker dives into why Finland’s students are not only responsible and happy children but also score so well academically.

I couldn’t agree more with one of his underlying finds: less is more.

Americans spend a ridiculous amount of money on schools and yet we still have huge issues. Parents and teachers make the case for more technology, more materials, more teachers, more time in school, more activities, more this and more that and yet everyone’s beyond stressed out and no one’s learning much of anything under pressure to teach to the test.

On the contrary, Finland’s schoolrooms maybe have one or two computer rooms, the children and teachers take 15-minute breaks every hour, there’s a sense of camaraderie versus competition between the teachers and children have fewer workloads and homework.

What gives?

Mr. Walker breaks his book into four main chapters motivated by SDT studies (self-determination theory)), and each chapter contains several sections:

1) Well-being
2) Belonging
3) Autonomy
4) Mastery

I felt a bit vindicated reading his book, to be frank. The well-being section echoed what I emphasize at home already. If you use Waldorf or Montessori methods in your classroom/home atmosphere then none of this is new information to you, nor a surprise (peace, nature, simplification…etc.).

However, while I promote minimalism and a simple life here on my blog, I’m not the best at being an “instructor,” so to speak, but instead rely on multiple other avenues to guide my children such as mentors, curriculum, literature, nature and outside activities. So while my books of choice tend to focus the decline of our school system and why to take our children out, I found it refreshing to read a full-time teacher’s point of view on ways to make classrooms better since most children have to, in fact, be in school. Because let’s face it, not everyone can homeschool (nor has the desire to do so).

But every child deserves to have a childhood, in and out of school.

The second section, Belonging, contained advice most helpful to me personally. While my children are more socialised than most children (forced association is not socialization, people!), this part of the book made me realize I’m not leaning enough on others (aka teachers need to lean on each other, work together, not isolate themselves and compete with one another). Don’t get me wrong, we homeschoolers have no reason to compete BUT we oftentimes secretly compare ourselves to other families – instead of reaching out and asking those we admire to offer their humble advice.

Don’t get me wrong, we homeschoolers have no reason to compete BUT we oftentimes secretly compare ourselves to other homeschooling families instead of reaching out and asking those we admire to offer us their humble advice.

This was a wake-up call.

So, finding a mentor, soon, might be in order. I’ve already jotted notes down on how to celebrate my children’s learning more effectively thanks to Mr. Walker. Our minimal, simplified home shows almost zero artwork, which is unbalanced I realize. However, including my children in their learning is something I’ve done from the start, something he also discusses at length.

And while I teach at home in order to cultivate independent thinkers, Mr. Walker’s book made me realize I may not be giving my children enough autonomy. In other words, giving them more opportunities to take responsibility and own their work. My takeaway here was:

Not just completing work because it’s on my agenda but letting them make their own agenda and helping them stick to it.

And since I don’t want to completely spoil the book for you (which is impossible, there are way too many good nuggets of information in his 190 pages), I will only say one of my favorite recommendations was an acronym strategy to help our children see how they’ve grown in their knowledge.

He also says to Make Learning Real.

Who could argue with Mr. Walker here? Either recreate real-life scenarios (or homeschool, I say) so they witness how real life works through each day.

Mr. Walker also discusses strategies to help incorporate activities which have drastically declined after states initiated Common Core including music, art and physical movement.

A few of his points felt redundant but it didn’t disrupt the flow. And I disagree with Mr. Walker only on occasion and rarely more than a paragraph or two. Considering our viewpoints differ drastically in one area in particular (he teaches at school, I chose to take my children out of school), he seems to get an honorable message across that:

Our children need more joy and less stress for learning.

How do we accomplish this? Read his book. I can’t imagine trying to be a teacher in America these days but, if you are one, Teach Like Finland will serve you well.

Finally, again, something Mr. Walker emphasizes throughout the book that I agree with wholeheartedly – “Students who pursue their own learning demonstrate increased motivation, learn more, and develop stronger metacognitive skills,” as quoted by Moss and Brookhart in their book, Learning Targets.

My opinion in a nutshell?

Get your own copy of Teach Like Finland if you love teaching (in school or at home). It’s packed with practical advice you can actually implement tomorrow as a teacher and/or as a parent.


I hope you found this review helpful.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Alfath F. R..
212 reviews4 followers
March 29, 2018
Buku ini berisi pengalaman penulis selama mengajar di Amerika dan Finlandia. Berdasarkan pengalaman awalnya mengajar tingkat sekolah dasar di Amerika, penulis merasa keheranan melihat banyak kebiasaan berbeda yang dilakukan guru selama pengajaran berlangsung di Finlandia. Mulai dari pemberian jeda berkala 15 menit tiap sekian jam tertentu, sampai perlunya memanfaatkan liburan musim panas oleh guru-guru di Finlandia.

Sebagai pembaca, saya menjadi tahu apa yang dilakukan penulis saat mengajar selama di Amerika dan di Finlandia. Ia berupaya menunjukkan kebiasaan pada dua negara berbeda juga memberikan hasil pembelajaran yang berbeda. Singkat kata, pembaca akan mengetahui seperti apa pembelajaran yang berlangsung pada negara dengan peringkat pendidikan terbaik di dunia.
Profile Image for Lailaturrahmi.
154 reviews18 followers
November 19, 2017
Buku ini memberikan perspektif baru bagi saya dalam memandang dan berkontribusi di bidang pendidikan. Meski buku ini lebih sesuai untuk pendidikan dasar dan menengah, saya rasa tidak ada salahnya mengimplementasikan ide-ide tertentu untuk pendidikan tinggi. Seperti rehat singkat ketimbang memaksakan kuliah 3 sks tanpa jeda, melibatkan peserta didik dalam merumuskan proyek kelas, dan merumuskan soal yang menantang; bukan hanya memidahkan soal standar ke lembar soal.

Dari buku ini, saya juga bisa mengenal pendidikan di Finlandia dari sumber terpercaya, yaitu orang yang merasakan sendiri suasana belajar dan kehidupan sebagai seorang guru di negara itu. Barangkali banyak yang tercengang dengan prestasi remaja Finlandia dalam penilaian berskala internasional-PISA- yang meliputi penilaian dalam matematika, sains dan berpikir kritis. Belum lagi berita-berita yang berseliweran di dunia maya menyebutkan bahwa hasil yang fantastis itu dicapai dari tidak adanya PR. Namun, Tim, penulis buku ini mematahkan asumsi keliru itu. Siswa-siswi Finlandia tetap memiliki pekerjaan rumah, hanya saja dalam jumlah yang tidak terlalu banyak dan tingkat kesulitan yang memungkinkan mereka dapat mengerjakannya secara mandiri.

Penyampaian buku ini dalam bentuk terjemahan pun saya rasa cukup baik. Bahasa yang digunakan relatif mudah diikuti dan luwes, bahkan untuk pembaca yang kurang familier terhadap istilah pedagogis sekalipun. Hanya ada satu kesalahan ketik yang saya temukan dan dua istilah dalam bahasa Inggris, yang entah luput dari penerjemahan atau sengaja dibiarkan seperti itu: bronze dan pancake batter.
1 review
June 21, 2017
The ideas in this book are not new and once read they are simply common sense stuff. But why, then, are they so foreign to most classrooms around the world? Timothy Walker reminds us what matters in education, and the challenge is for us is to remind ourselves how and why 'simple' works and that at the core of any productive and quality learning environment are learners who are relaxed and feel valued and teachers who feel successful. Read this as a strong testament to an education system that is the single longest running longitudinal study of what creates quality learning consistently. Even if we can't change the education system we work under, there are lots of practical ideas to incorporate.
Profile Image for Katelyn Howard.
34 reviews2 followers
February 19, 2018
This book was very engaging and interesting to read. It presented many strategies (33 of them.. lol) for consideration and allowed me to reflect on my own teaching practice as well as my schooling experiences. Really enjoyed reading through this and considering how I could incorporate simple strategies to foster a sense of belonging, well being, autonomy and mastery into my classroom. I did feel that many things would be difficult to implement in my own classroom simply due to cultural and educational differences. However, I would definitely recommend this book to all teachers looking to add mindfulness and joy into their classroom.
Profile Image for Ira Booklover.
596 reviews36 followers
May 7, 2019
Secara sekilas pandang, menurut saya, buku ini mempunyai daya tarik yang bagus. Cover, judul, dan blurb-nya membuat saya jadi kepingin memiliki dan menimbun membacanya. Dan, alhamdulillah, saya akhirnya bisa berjodoh dengan buku ini.

Tetapi ternyata, buku ini agak tidak sesuai dengan ekspetasi saya. Menurut saya pribadi, buku ini ... errr... kurang enak dibaca. Somehow, berasa seperti sebuah paper yang ditulis dengan boring. Entah memang dari sananya (sungkem sama penulis), atau ada kesalahan dalam penerjemahannya (sungkem sama penerjemah).

Meskipun begitu, ada banyak pengetahuan baru yang saya dapat setelah membaca buku ini. Terutama tentang apa rahasia Finlandia sehingga murid-muridnya berhasil membuktikan prestasi mereka di sebuah tes berskala internasional.

Saya juga sangat terkesan dengan betapa berdedikasinya si pengarang terhadap profesinya sebagai seorang guru. Semangat beliau itu loh!, membuat saya iri. Beliau tampaknya sangat berusaha keras untuk terus dan terus menemukan bagaimana cara menjadi guru yang baik. Kalau saya sih bilangnya beliau ini mengajar dengan hati, #eaaaaaa.

Apakah semangat itu ada pada guru-guru kita di Indonesia? Saya harap ada. Dan semoga jumlah mereka lebih banyak daripada guru yang tidak bersemangat, hohoho.

Dan meskipun saya bukan seorang guru, buku ini berhasil menginspirasi saya supaya jangan lupa bahagia dalam menjalani sebuah profesi. Saya berhasil merasa bahagia di kantor keesokan harinya meskipun pekerjaan saya banyaknya bikin sakit perut. Semoga efeknya awet yah, hahaha.

At last, saya rasa buku ini sangat cocok dibaca untuk teman-teman yang berprofesi sebagai guru. Ada banyak tips dan trik yang bisa dicoba di kelas. Siapa tahu hasilnya juga bisa membuat murid-murid kalian berprestasi seperti anak-anak Finlandia itu, aamin.

So, bukunya kurang enak dibaca memang, tapi menurut saya, pengetahuan yang diberikannya sangat bagus. Jadi, 3 dari bintang untuk Mengajar Seperti Finlandia, I liked it.
Profile Image for Lea Goossen.
1 review
June 10, 2017
Timothy Walker’s book does an excellent job of describing the attitudes and classroom atmosphere that has made Finland’s schools some of the best in the world. His provides practical advice and insights on creating a classroom in which the students are engaged, empowered and enjoy their time at school. I greatly appreciated Mr. Walker’s openness and honesty as he shares stories of both his successes and failures in the classroom. I could tell from the first page that he loves what he does, loves his students and wants every classroom to be filled with joy. New teachers will find many ideas and practices that can serve as a great foundation for teaching. As for those of us with a number of years in the classroom, you will be encouraged by his stories and I am sure you will find something that you can put into practice today. You may want to move to Finland after reading this book, but Mr. Walker’s desire doesn’t appear to be to get you to go there but to show you how you can bring a little bit of Finland’s success to your classroom.
Profile Image for Jean Schram.
96 reviews
April 26, 2018
The author admits, “I think it’s impossible to transfer education systems from one place to another.” However, he believes he can share with us some ideas to help us ….Since the book’s title is Teach Like Finland, which connotes that Finland’s education system is better than ours in the U.S., I expected there to be AT LEAST ONE mention of something that is NOT happening in U.S. schools. Although the author cites his experience in both public and private schools in the United States, it’s evident from this book that his experience in the U.S. was very limited. One time, he even remarks, “What planet am I on?” when he sees something in Finland that is actually a about something that is a common occurrence in the U.S. (93). Later, he remarks that he’s never, in all of his years of schooling, had a teacher discuss his grades with him (166). While I’m sorry that his experience as a student and teacher in the United States was so negative, it is not representative of all of American education. He should have spent more time here seeing what was working in good classrooms before moving to Finland and deciding that everything they do there is something that is not done in the United States.
Toward the end of the book, the author states this: Through observing Finnish classrooms, I’ve found that Finland’s most popular methods of promoting mastery in the classroom aren’t exactly cutting edge. Contrary to what is expected, Finland’s teachers typically employ traditional, teacher-directed classroom instruction” (135). This book completely misses the elephant in the room, that Finland and the United States have completely different cultures around education. It was pointed out in the book The Smartest Kids in the World that even the stoners in Finland have a positive attitude toward school and do their work. The United States should work on making teaching a higher prestige position in which all employed educators are caring and intelligent, and we should trust these talented educators to make sound educational decisions. But this book won’t help with that because the things mentioned in this book are already being done by educators in the U.S.
The author states that, for educators during the school year, “it can be tempting to participate in exciting (but nonessential) initiatives like Twitter chats, volunteer committees, and book clubs” (30). I am reading this book during the school year for a book club, but I suggest that you take his advice and skip it. Pick up Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion instead. Although there’s nothing new here, the ideas that Walker presents are sound ideas for effective classroom instruction, so I didn’t give it one star. I would have given it three stars, but I kept getting more and more frustrated every time I turned a page and found another strategy that is not exclusive to Finland—that is already being used in U.S. schools.
Profile Image for Aaron.
217 reviews1 follower
January 3, 2018
There are a lot of good strategies in this book though I didn't find any overly eye-opening. Though perhaps the strength of Finland's education is that they continually apply all of these strategies instead of only picking and choosing a few.

A couple of strategies that really stuck out to me were the 15 minute breaks, simplify the space, keep the peace, and have a thicker skin. The 15 minute break idea requires a school wide policy; however, it brings up a good point that I should look to incorporate more opportunities for brain breaks of just a couple minutes within each of my class periods. Simplify the space is an important reminder that I do not need to have the walls full just for the sake of it. I think I do a good job of not displaying just any student work on the walls but instead waiting for impressive work. But it was a good reminder that if I have some blank space at the start of a semester, it can wait to be filled until students complete quality projects or such. I want to work on the 'have a thicker skin' idea. It should not be my goal to compare myself to other teachers and always want to be the superior teacher. I should applaud good ideas and successes of my colleagues and be a bigger encourager and supporter of the teachers around me. If I can help promote an atmosphere of encouragement in the school, it will come back around to improve my classroom as students will be less frustrated and aggravated.

Timothy Walker's (and Finland's) overall thesis for improving the classroom is to make them joyful classrooms. I really do love this idea. The base level of finding success with teaching is not just teaching masterfully but you must have a space where students find some level of joy. Because from joy comes a desire to experience life which includes indulging in learning.
Profile Image for Mary.
826 reviews45 followers
November 2, 2019
There is an entire American publishing trend of "Why Americans suck at everything," but there's plenty of cause to think that we are not rocking our education. What's especially fascinating about the Finnish success story is that it came about quite recently, and largely based on American Progressive principles; they just stuck with them, while we dismissed them in the 1930s. But in our American zeal to Do Everything Different This Time, we sometimes think that Finnish-level reform is politically impossible.

Walker makes school reform bite-sized, though, giving suggestions that principals and teachers can incorporate into their classes without too much red tape. Some ideas are so simple, they don't seem radical, like "Go on vacation when you are on vacation" and "You don't need to plaster every surface of your classroom with posters and student work." Some might require a little more planning, like inviting your colleagues to "guest lecture" or pairing up with another older or younger classroom. But many of them are quite acheivable.

Equally important, you will notice that some of these strategies are as much about self-care and self-respect for the teacher as it is about any particular pedagogical practice. One of the things (this is Mary's theory here) that burns out so many American teachers is the idea that we do have to Do Everything Different This Time. Walker's suggestions take some of the craziness out--teachers don't have to stay up revamping their entire curriculum, and may, in fact, be better teachers for embracing a more simple, holistic approach for both their students and themselves.
Profile Image for S Whittaker.
6 reviews
August 5, 2017
I eagerly anticipated the release of this book, and placed an order for my copy on it's release date. I had previously read some of Walker's articles via 'The Atlantic' and lived what he had to say and share about education in Finland. I was excited to learn more from a North American educator teaching in progressive Finland.

The book was amazing! I loved every minute of it, so much so, that I've deemed this book 'the best professional read' of my 20 year career. Walker has provided a meaningful, realistic framework to promote happiness, wellbeing and joy in the classroom, for both educators and learners. His insight and experience in two countries afforded him the opportunity to not only provide meaningful insight and ideas into the Finnish education system, but to help North American educators find effective ways in which they could adopt Finnish strategies, into the current system within which they teach.

Many of us are tired, frustrated and burnt out. Walker sheds light on how to bring back the passion, find the joy and prioritize self within a job that consumes so much of who and what we are.

I highly recommend this transformative read. I am using the principles contained within it to approach 2017-2018 school year as 'The Happiness' project, where the learners and I will focus on finding happiness and inspiration through our learning and in our shared time.

Thank you Timothy D. Walker for a fabulous read!
9 reviews
May 3, 2020
Was this edited by one of his 6th graders?

None of the advice given in this book is earth-shattering, but perhaps that’s the point. In fact, I’ve seen the majority of the techniques here employed by progressive secondary teachers with the professionalism to constantly develop and evolve their best practices. As with most primary-focused discussions of education, the author can’t help but give his approaches quirky names and buzzwords, which can be annoyingly sophomoric at times. He also has a tendency to mischaracterize and misapply research throughout the book. The most cringeworthy example is when he cites studies on how learning to play a musical instrument is shown to improve overall academic achievement to support the practice of finding sing-along videos on YouTube to help students memorize content.

This book paints a bleak picture of the philosophies guiding primary teaching in our country. I can only hope the author is exaggerating a little when describing the quantity over quality, teacher-led, authoritarian approaches to American primary ed, for the sake of making his point. Having said that, some of the practices he himself cops to from his days teaching in America are shockingly bad. The only conclusion I can confidently take from this book is that the author wasn’t a very good teacher before he moved to Finland.

PS For a fun drinking game, take a shot every time he uses the phrase “One of the first things I noticed...”
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