Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Finnish perceptions of PISA Success: Previous Research, Part One

Finland's success in PISA has led to publications both within and outside Finland addressing the issue.

The University of Jyvaskyla, a respected university in Finland, and especially respected for the caliber of the Department of Education, released two articles on the matter.

A document entitled "The Finnish Success in PISA -- And Some Reasons Behind It: PISA 2000" was written in 2002 by Professors Valijarvi, Linnakyla, Kupari, Reinikainen, and Arffman. A similar document addressed entitled "The Finnish Success in PISA -- And Some Reasons Behind It 2" was released in 2007 and was written by Professors Valijarvi, Kupari, Linnakyla, Reinikainen, Sulkunen, Tornroos, and Arffman.

The second document described the Finnish reaction to high outcomes in PISA and the paradigm shift of educational interest that occurred after the release of PISA results:
The outstanding success of Finnish students in PISA has been a great joy but at the same time a somewhat puzzling experience to all those responsible for and making decisions about education in Finland. At a single stroke, PISA has transformed our conceptions of the quality of the work done at our comprehensive school and of the foundations it has laid for Finland's future civilisation and development of knowledge. Traditionally, we have been used to thinking that the models for educational reforms have to be taken from abroad. This sudden change in role from a country following the example of others to one serving as a model for others reforming school has prompted us to recognise and think seriously about the special characteristics and strengths of our comprehensive school (Valijarvi, et al., 2007, p. 3).

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