Why Are Finland's Schools Successful?- page 5 | Innovation | Smithsonian
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"This is what we do every day," says Kirkkojarvi Comprehensive School principal Kari Louhivuori, "prepare kids for life." (Stuart Conway)

Why Are Finland's Schools Successful?

The country's achievements in education have other nations, especially the United States, doing their homework

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(Continued from page 4)

A few years ago, Kallahti principal Timo Heikkinen began noticing that, increasingly, affluent Finnish parents, perhaps worried about the rising number of Somali children at Kallahti, began sending their children to one of two other schools nearby. In response, Heikkinen and his teachers designed new environmental science courses that take advantage of the school’s proximity to the forest. And a new biology lab with 3-D technology allows older students to observe blood flowing inside the human body.

It has yet to catch on, Heikkinen admits. Then he added: “But we are always looking for ways to improve.”

In other words, whatever it takes.

Lynnell Hancock writes about education and teaches at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Photographer Stuart Conway lives in East Sussex, near the south coast of England.

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