Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Last modified: Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Expert on Finlandís education success to speak at Indiana University

Jan. 18, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Pasi Sahlberg, an official with the Finnish education ministry and an internationally known expert on education issues, will speak Friday, Jan. 20, at Indiana University Bloomington on the educational reforms Finland has implemented in the past 30 years.

Sahlberg is director general of the Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation in the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and has published extensively on Finnish education. He is the author of the recent book "Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn From Educational Change in Finland?"

The lecture, at 1:20 p.m. in Wylie Hall 005, is sponsored by the Department of Central Eurasian Studies and the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center. It is free and open to the public.

"The attention Finland's education system has drawn shows the importance of area studies," said Christopher Atwood, chair of the Department of Central Eurasian Studies. "The world out there is important, and sometimes the most important lessons come from places we don't expect. But without understanding the background -- what is it about Finland that makes it so successful -- we won't be able to put these lessons in context and see how applicable they might be to the United States."

Finland has gained widespread attention in education circles because of its success in international comparisons of student achievement. Its students have consistently placed at or near the top in the Programme of International Student Assessment, a measure of the performance of 15-year-olds in dozens of countries. As a result, Sahlberg and his analysis of Finland's educational success have been the subjects of articles in The New York Times, The Atlantic and many other publications.

"Finnish Lessons" shows how Finland's approach to improving schools differs from global and North American education reform strategies. It explores the evolution of Finnish education, the role of teachers, links between education reform and other sectors of society, and how education policies may raise a nation's prosperity and reduce poverty.

Sahlberg is an adjunct professor at the Universities of Helsinki and Oulu and has worked as a teacher and a teacher educator in Finland. He has also worked with policy and research organizations in Finland and as an educational specialist at the World Bank and the European Commission.

The IU Department of Central Eurasian Studies, part of the College of Arts and Sciences, has long been one of the world's leading centers of academic expertise on Central Eurasia as well as the sole independent degree-granting academic unit staffed with its own faculty of specialists. It offers a unique area studies program, emphasizing language proficiency and a thorough grounding in indigenous cultures.

The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center at Indiana University is a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant institution that coordinates resources to increase understanding of all aspects of the diverse region and peoples of the Inner Asia and Uralic regions.