Finnish education is gaining its reputation as the best education in the world. Being a teacher myself, I see this book as a trade secret to improve the education in my country, which is among the worst in the world. And I waited expectantly till my order arrived!
The book is as advertised. It is a insider account of Finnish education system. The author, Pasi Sahlberg, is the Director General of Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation at Finish Ministry of Education and Culture, or in other words, Finish education international public relation. It begins with the short history of Finland and Finland education, to the path of international fame. And then in the following chapter unravel one by one, the trade secret.
They are not so many new ideas in this book that you cannot find in other source, actually, for example the documentary Finland Phenomenon by 2mminute.com, or any free video that you can watch at youtube, including seminar by Pasi Sahlberg himself. The book supplies only the details, to supply some information gap that is missing in the other source. Nevertheless, this book is still a necessary addition if you are interested in education reform.
The writing of the book, despite of its excellent content, is a bit dull. I find it too academic for general readership. For such a fine topic, I expect a more emotional tone from its writer. But what I find is just collection of facts and more facts, like a reference book, without any driving force to stir your emotion or intellect. It is a nice book if you already know about how well Finnish education is, but if somehow you haven’t know that, this book is not that persuasive.
That’s why I give this book only 3 star. But don’t let this review hinder you from reading this book. It is still an excellent source of information about Finnish education system.