A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

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Next entry: Internet Command Central
Previous entry: Seinfeld on the learning difference between men and women
Wednesday March 12 2008

I missed this WSJ piece asking why Finnish kids are so smart, when it was published on the 29th of last month.  Quote:

The academic prowess of Finland’s students has lured educators from more than 50 countries in recent years to learn the country’s secret, including an official from the U.S. Department of Education. What they find is simple but not easy: well-trained teachers and responsible children. Early on, kids do a lot without adults hovering. And teachers create lessons to fit their students. “We don’t have oil or other riches. Knowledge is the thing Finnish people have,” says Hannele Frantsi, a school principal.

Maybe part of it is that Finnish children grow up happy.  I visited Finland long ago, and the children in particular did seem very happy.

Seriously, I do think that there’s a connection between children being happy and children being ready to learn, because happy children are less downcast when they find things difficult to grasp at first.  They are not plunged into deep gloom by their temporary ignorance or befuddlement, merely into a state of mild confusion.  They’re not so ready to damn themselves as incurably thick, and switch off.

Come to think of it, there’s also a connection between adults being happy and adults being willing to learn.  Don’t you think?