Throughout human history, the closest resemblances of utopia, from Athens, Greece to modern Northern Europe, have been built on high quality education and open access to knowledge, from The Academy to the modern Nordic education system. People used to treat schooling as the most noble pursuit in life, whereas nowadays, kids in US public schools use it to sell weed and shove nerds into lockers. Back in the day, “being educated” and “getting an education” are synonymous. Nowadays, they may, at times, be polar opposites.
For my second research paper in the Rhetoric of Education writing course I’m taking this quarter, I studied Finland’s education system comparatively to the US’s, and simulated a conversation between policy makers and teachers of the two countries as they discuss what the US can learn from Finland. While US students score in the twenties for reading and forties for math, Finland has consistently been in the top five for all three subject areas. Finnish students are not only the most successful, they are the most happy of any country, and many find fulfilling work as teachers, a top profession, to perpetuate a nation of literacy, meritocracy, and intellectualism – a truly beautiful system at work.
If interested, give it a read.