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Michael Moore

Michael Moore wanted to find out why Finnish schools were at the top of the PISA tables and the USA was near the bottom. This film is full of answers to that question. Here are a few of them.

There is no homework. As one teacher says, ‘The whole term “homework” is obsolete.’ A group of teenagers is asked how much homework they do in a day. The answers vary from twenty minutes to no time at all.

Younger children spend only twenty hours a week in school. Finland has shorter school days and shorter school terms than anywhere else in the world. One teacher declares that if you constantly get just work, work, work, then you stop learning..

In Finland it is against the law to set up a school and charge tuition. That means that the rich kids have to go to the same kind of school as everyone else, and their parents make sure that all schools are good. Michael Moore comments that in the USA they have stopped teaching art, music and poetry. To the shocked Finnish reaction, he gives the standard American response. ‘We got rid of poetry. How does poetry help you to get a job?’

One of the teachers interviewed remarks that what he teaches is how to be happy. ‘And you’re a math teacher?’ says Michael Moore, incredulously. ‘Yes,’ the teacher replies. ‘School should be about finding a way to learn what makes you happy.’ Watching this film might make you happy.



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