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What Can Educators Learn from Successful School Systems?

Posted on: August 20, 2015 by Aegis General

What Can Educators Learn from Successful School SystemsAs education is the foundation for preparing children for adulthood, it is imperative the system is effective and beneficial. While the American way has historically put pressure on children to perform scholastically and primarily focuses on talent, two international countries have reformed the structure of their education systems with evident success. While it is a noble effort to try new techniques and make improvements, is also important to keep Educators’ Legal Liability risks in mind, as this is a large part of the public sector’s municipality insurance program.

According to TED Talks, South Korea and Finland’s education systems, while diametrically opposed, have proven to be immensely successful over the last fifty years. Korea’s model focuses on teaching children in a community setting and stresses the importance of hard work and persistence. As the culture celebrates conventionality, the success of others drives the classroom together. Contrary to American tradition, talent doesn’t play a large role in the educational model as they believe there is no excuse for failure-any child who is taught properly and studies hard enough can achieve the desired results.

While the children are under colossal pressure to perform, South Korea is at the forefront of international testing standards and has achieved 100 percent literacy in their country. Amanda Ripley, author of The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way, stated “The reality is, in the modern world the kid is going to have to know how to learn, how to work hard and how to persist after failure. The Korean model teaches that.”

Contrarily, Finland’s model focuses more on extracurricular choice and flexibility. Their short school days are filled with extracurricular activities, sponsored by the schools. Their culture believes that learning occurs outside of the classroom, as well. While school is the epicenter of the community, the kids are able to choose in which exams they wish to matriculate. A third of the courses they take in high school are electives. Moreover, Finnish teachers spend 600 hours in the classroom and spend the rest of their time in professional development.  U.S. teachers spend 1,100 hours teaching with little to no feedback. However, educational rigor is still important.

“Finns do not really exist outside of Finland. This drives people to take education more seriously. Even the smallest children understand that nobody else speaks Finnish, and if they want to do anything else in life, they need to learn languages,” stated Pasi Sahlberg, Finnish educator.

Amanda Ripley challenges the American education system in comparison to these successful models by stating “There’s a lag for cultures to catch up with economic realities, and right now we’re living in that lag. So our kids aren’t growing up with the kind of skills or grit to make it in the global economy.” However, opportunity equality and a longstanding solid education system are key factors in American culture which creates a solid foundation for a strong education system.

At Aegis General Insurance Agency, we are experts in providing insurance solutions and risk management to the public sector through one of our divisions, Allied Public Risk, co-owned by Allied World Assurance. Educators’ liability insurance is an essential part of a robust municipality insurance program. We offer custom tailored and innovative protection at competitive prices for these policies and more. To learn more about our operations, contact us today at (866) 662-5752.


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