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Education / Golden Oldies

Finnish Lessons

Finnish Lessons

Finnish Lessons – Event Details

Finnish Ed FB image 1

Hosted by the Convenor of the Education and Lifelong Learning Committee, Stewart Maxwell MSP.

Sponsored by the Finnish Embassy with Nordic Horizons

Wednesday May 2, 6.30pm at the Scottish Parliament, Committee Room 1

“The story of Finland’s extraordinary educational reforms is one that should inform policymakers and educators around the world. This book is a must read.” Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University. Pasi Sahlberg’s book Finnish Lessons helps explains why Finland’s education system regularly tops world league tables for results, happiness of children, levels of literacy and esteem of teachers. The Finnish education system is so often cited as a blueprint one Scottish union leader said he was fed up hearing about it! Most educationists, policy-makers and parents however want to know more. What’s the secret of Finnish educational success and which aspects might Scotland usefully borrow?

Dr Pasi Sahlberg is the Director General of the Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation (CIMO) an independent agency funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and based in Helsinki. He has global expertise in educational reform, training teachers, coaching schools and advising policy makers. He has previously worked as a teacher, teacher-educator, policy advisor and served the World Bank in Washington and the European Commission as an education expert. Read more on or

Finnish Lessons – Digital Notes


Nordic Horizons had a meeting in the Scottish Parliament on the subject of Finnish education with a couple of distinguished speakers on the subject. It was excellent and everyone commented it was inspiring, interesting and challenging. Photos of the meeting are posted on the Nordic Horizons Facebook page – do join.

Pasi Sahlberg has kindly let us have a copy of his slides from his presentation. It’s a big file ( 3+ mb ) and you can download it here. Download Pasi Sahlberg Presentation in the Scotland Parliament 2012

Speaker Biog

042812_1130_Speakersbio1Pasi Sahlberg, from Oulu, Finland started teaching in Teacher Training School at the University of Helsinki in 1986. He then moved to the Ministry of Education in 1991 to serve as Senior Advisor in science education, Head of the School Improvement Unit, and later as Counsellor to the Deputy Director General on education policy development and education reform. In 2000 he was invited to take the leadership of the Centre for School Development in the University of Helsinki. He is Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki and at the University of Oulu.
From 2003 he has worked as Senior Education Specialist in the World Bank in Washington, DC. He was responsible for education projects and analytical work in Europe and Central Asia. Since June 2007 he has worked with the European Training Foundation, in Torino, Italy, as Lead Education Specialist producing intellectual services to improve education policies and practices.

In his current job as Director General of CIMO (National Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation) Dr. Sahlberg works with the Finnish Government to promote internationalization and tolerance, creativity and global ethics in Finnish society through mobility and institutional cooperation in education, culture, youth and sport.
Dr. Sahlberg has published several books – his latest is Finnish lessons – what can the world learn from educational change in Finland. Teachers College Press New York 2011

042812_1130_Speakersbio2Donald Christie is Professor of Education, and the Head of School of Education, is a qualified schoolteacher and a chartered psychologist.

From 2004 to 2009, he was convenor of the collaborative research network on Learners, Learning and Teaching, part of the £2 million Applied Educational Research Scheme funded by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Funding Council (see

He was previously director and principal investigator of a project funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council’s Teaching and Learning Research Programme, concerned with supporting collaborative group work in Scottish primary schools (

He has recently been involved in research associated with the Curriculum for Excellence; the potential of Philosophy with Children as a means of fostering effective collaborative dialogue.

Professor Christie was centrally involved in the construction of the new framework of standards for the teaching profession in Scotland, having been a co-author of the Benchmark Standard for Initial Teacher Education published in 2000 and a member of the team, which researched and created the Standard for Chartered Teacher published in 2002.

From 1998 to 2002 Professor Christie was Editor of the Scottish Educational Review, and from 2001 to 2003 was President of the Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA). He has represented SERA on the Council of the European Educational Research Association.

Vimeo Video Resources


Soundcloud Podcasts

The plan was to record the meeting for your listening pleasure. Sadly, there was a technical problem. So, we did the next best thing and devoted this week’s Lesley Riddoch Podcast to a report on the meeting. Photos of the meeting are posted on the Nordic Horizons Facebook page – do join. Powerpoint slides from the presentations will be made available shortly. Enjoy the podcast.

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