Finland Rethinks Factory-Style School Buildings
LINK: Education Week
While Finland was redesigning new buildings, Texas bought a new standardized test. While Americans are arguing over charter, private, and public schools, Finland builds new buildings to create the perfect learning environment. While Finland pours its creativity and money into the children, some Americans would rather make a buck.
I know, I'm over-simplifying the issues, but I'm absolutely sick of experimenting on our students with unproven "solutions."
"That collaboration shows in the spacious teachers’ lounges and work spaces in the schools. For example, the Kirkkojärvi School teachers’ lounge has a built-in coffee bar and cafe tables, where the principal serves coffee and tea during breaks; the room is intended to give teachers a place to regularly meet casually with the principal and other teachers, beyond formal working groups. And the Sakarinmäki School, scheduled to open in 2014, has a separate wing for teachers’ offices and work space, which gives adults quiet for preparing lessons and conducting professional development work but connects to the nursery school and upper grades by a central atrium. The buildings are laid out in clusters, with multiple gathering places inside and out. In part, this is necessity: While American schools are cutting recess, Finish schools set aside a 15-minute break after every 45-minute lesson, coupled with a half-hour lunch break, even though they traditionally have shorter school days overall than those in the United States."
Comment from Extra Credit?: Because in Finland their society values teachers, education and the students! We value Tiger, LeBron and Lady Gaga. Until our society changes it's value system our education system is going to suffer, regardless of desk arrangement and wall color.
Comment from frankly: It is nice to see that form has really followed function in these examples. The communication to the staff and students is very convincingly, we value you. Sadly, in the United States, we communicate, in our school buildings, teacher pay, school budgets, mass media, and general political discussion, that we value money more than education or people, whether students or teachers.
I was intrigued by the photos, so I searched for more. You can see more of the school here.