Episode 36: Pasi Sahlberg, Author of Finnish Lessons and Visiting Professor at Harvard!

Pasi Sahlberg

If you’ve been following the national or international news about education policy over the past few years, you’ve probably heard that Finland is a big educational success story. What’s amazing about the Finnish story is that the Finnish have basically done everything the opposite of the current education reform agenda in the United States. They’ve focused on equity over excellence, improving the teaching force, limiting student testing, putting responsibility and trust before accountability, and making sure schools and districts are led by education professionals. Pasi Sahlberg and I discussed all this, but also talked about his own experience as a student (he literally grew up in a schoolhouse), and how he came to be an ambassador, of sorts, for Finland’s schools. If you want to hear more of Pasi’s ideas, check out his compelling book, Finnish Lessons, What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland, or this TEDx talk You may also be able to catch him live because he is currently on a leave of absence from his post as Director General of the Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation (CIMO) in Helsinki and is a Visiting Professor of Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

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Please Speak Freely

On Please Speak Freely, Eric Gurna, founder of Development Without Limits interviews leading thinkers, artists and others to shed light on key issues and explore different perspectives about youth development and education. The idea is to get past the platitudes and institutional positions, and have honest, nuanced conversations about things that really matter to young people and communities. Please Speak Freely guests include:

  • Raffi, Children’s Troubadour and Founder of the Centre for Child Honouring
  • Alfie Kohn, Author of several books including Punished By Rewards and The Schools Our Children Deserve
  • Dr. Pedro Noguera, Professor of Education at New York University
  • Karen Pittman, President & CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment
  • Tony Smith, Former Superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District
  • Lenore Skenazy, “America’s Worst Mom” and Author of Free-Range Kids

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