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  • Hi Barb,

    Thanks for participating in the Smarter Kids conversation this week.

    I know you asked for some ideas of how to approach Finnish Lessons 2.0. Considering that we are stretching I am Malala over the next two weeks I will likely slot this book into a Week 5 or 6 assignment. It definitely is the most academic book on the list and not an easy read. You are probably more likely to find it on the syllabus for an ed leadership class than a book club. My thinking was it would be a good supplement to Ripley’s lighter intro to PISA & Finland. However I thought it might be too much to schedule them back to back.

    Early in the book Sahlberg notes that “.... school reforms are poor travelers... “ and I heard him years ago saying the US PISA scores were about what could be expected of a country our size and with our demographics. While Finnish specific reforms may not have the same effect (or even be possible) in the US, I still wonder if there’s a Finnish approach that is replicable? My guiding questions would be ... What are the general and specific Finnish Lessons that standout for you? What might be some actions you could take to further these reforms considering your sphere of influence?

    I don’t know if this is helpful but I am considering changing our meeting format for the Finnish Lessons book. The idea is to divide the book’s 5 chapters among members and have 1-2 educators focus on a given chapter and share their summary of that chapter leading into our larger conversation. Individually people could decide if they wanted to invest the time in the whole book. If you have time to go to Sahlberg’s preface and Plan of the Book (p13) and give me any early thoughts on that approach I would appreciate it.

    Have a good week, Gregory
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