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The Finland Phenomenon (2011)

7.6
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Finland's education system has consistently ranked among the best in the world for more than a decade. The puzzle is, why Finland? Documentary filmmaker, Bob Compton, along with Harvard ... See full summary »

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Storyline

Finland's education system has consistently ranked among the best in the world for more than a decade. The puzzle is, why Finland? Documentary filmmaker, Bob Compton, along with Harvard researcher, Dr. Tony Wagner, decided to find out. The result of their research is captured in a new film, "The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World's Most Surprising School System". In the 60-minute film, Dr. Wagner guides the viewer through an inside look at the world's finest secondary education system. A life-long educator and author of the best-selling book "The Global Achievement Gap," Dr. Wagner is uniquely qualified to explore and explain Finland's success. From within classrooms and through interviews with students, teachers, parents, administrators and government officials, Dr. Wagner reveals the surprising factors accounting for Finland's rank as the #1 education system in the world. Written by Robert Compton

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Release Date:

24 March 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Suomi, koulun ihmemaa  »

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Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)
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1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

Effective overview lacking in depth
3 April 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I found this documentary to be a good overview of some of the basic points of difference between 'western' education systems and the Finish system.

The film is laced throughout with interesting quotes and statistics, but it often feels like those statistics are not followed up within the actual film, but serve rather as another area which requires exploration in greater depth. And this is my main disappointment with the film.

The statistics are thought provoking and mostly forgotten in the film; there is a very insular tone to the film, possibly due to the lack in variety of schools visited, people interviewed and issues addressed feeling limited. Each time they spoke to the vocational area of Higher Education they only ever showed the electronics area. They never mentioned how their national curriculum is constructed and what it contains. They introduced two girls in year 8 who were going to illustrate the extra-curricula lives of Finish students, however, showed them playing piano and mentioning they do little homework. What about a greater student sample? This would have been more representative of this area.

The film is effective in discussing the training Student teachers must undertake and the level of trust gifted to teachers, however this is offset by the fact they fail to really explore all levels of schooling from preschool, the comprehensive schooling, high school and further education.

A good introduction to Finish education and teacher training which leaves you wanting more detail and breadth in its examination.


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