Source : How Finland became an education leader, Harvard professor Tony Wagner explains how the nation achieved extraordinary successes by deemphasizing testing ,David Sirota, 18 juillet 2011.
Quelques extraits significatifs :
What has Finland achieved, and what’s the history behind its improved education system ?
In the early 1970s, Finland had an underperforming education system and a pretty poor agrarian economy based on one product — trees, and they were chopping them down at a rapid rate that wasn’t going to get them very far. So they knew they had to completely revamp their education system in order to create a true knowledge-based economy.
So they began in the 1970s by completely transforming the preparation and selection of future teachers. That was a very important fundamental reform because it enabled them to have a much higher level of professionalism among teachers. Every teacher got a masters degree, and every teacher got the very same high quality level of preparation.
So what has happened since is that teaching has become the most highly esteemed profession. Not the highest paid, but the most highly esteemed. Only one out of every 10 people who apply to become teachers will ultimately make it to the classroom. The consequence has been that Finland’s performance on international assessments, called PISA, have consistently outranked every other western country, and really there are only a handful of eastern countries that are educating with the same results.
So, Finland basically focuses on teachers and not on domestic testing. Those PISA tests that you cite are international assessments.
That’s absolutely right. There is no domestic testing except a very quiet auditing program to test demographic samples of kids ; not for accountability, not for public consumption, and not for comparison across schools. The fascinating thing is that because they have created such a high level of professionalism, they can trust their teachers. Their motto is "Trust Through Professionalism." The difference between the highest performing school in Finland and the lowest performing school in Finland is less than four percent, and that’s without any testing at all.
...This is what Finland has done that’s different — they’ve defined what is excellent teaching, not just reasonable teaching, and they have a standard for that. Second, they’ve defined what is most important to learn, and it’s not a memorization-based curriculum, but a thinking-based curriculum. So even in our wealthiest districts we’re not approaching that global standard of success and excellence.