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Looking at the Issues Header
October 13, 2017
Did You Know
Student Asks "What If?" 
On October 3, 2017 over 400 students from 19 area districts attended day 1 of the Student Academy. Cameron Martin, student on the Lake Local ALL IN Student Leadership team, opened the day by sharing these words: 

"One of the most regretful questions we could ever ask ourselves is, "What if?" What if I would've stopped and spoken up for that girl or boy being picked on? What if I sat next to that certain person who sits all alone at lunch? ...I'm challenging you as an individual to look for these little opportunities to make a change, because these little opportunities add up to make something so much greater...[B]e the change you want to see in the world."  
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Finland Implements U.S. Education Innovations
to Rank #1

In the 1980's many countries were looking to reform education to ensure that all students had equal prospects for educational success in school (equity) and that all achieved at high levels (excellence). The U.S. chose to implement No Child Left Behind and test-based accountability. Finland, according to Pasi Sahlberg, Finnish education leader and author, chose to borrow and implement innovative practices from the U.S., which have moved Finland to the top of the equity and achievement international rankings. 
According to Sahlberg, author of Finnish Lessons 2.0, five American education ideas have been instrumental in accelerating Finland's success in education. 
  1. Active, Hands-on Learning: More than a century ago, John Dewey, American philosopher and educator, emphasized the need to learn by doing - a 'hands-on' approach. He was a proponent of students learning practical skills needed in everyday life. Dewey realized that children learn better when working on real life issues together in small groups.
  2. Based on the work of David Johnson, Roger Johnson and Elizabeth Cohen, Cooperative Learning is an instructional approach widely implemented throughout the Finnish education system built on regular small-group learning of students with diverse backgrounds. In cooperative groups, students learn academic subject matter as well as the interpersonal skills required to function as part of a team.
  3. Multiple Intelligences is a theory developed by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. It asserts that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited. Gardner proposed eight intelligences: musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. Finnish educators have designed curriculum and instruction to cultivate these intelligences in all students.
  4. Alternative Classroom Assessmentsdeveloped at U.S. universities, are used to measure knowledge acquisition, problem solving, communication, and a wide variety of skills. Finnish classrooms use a variety of assessments to measure student progress toward the learning goals including performance, project-based, portfolio, formative, and self-assessments. They do not use standardized testing.
  5. Peer Coaching is a professional development practice developed by Bruce Joyce and his colleagues. Peer coaching is a confidential process through which teachers (two or more) work together to reflect on current teaching. They refine, improve and learn new skills, teach together in classrooms, conduct classroom research, and take part in school improvement together.
[1] Sahlberg, Pasi. (2015). Finish Lessons 2.0. (p)170.
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The Stark Education Partnership - a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Stark County, Ohio -  is a catalyst, engaging and collaborating with education, business, civic and community stakeholders to drive sustainable improvement and innovation to provide all students with education and career success.  

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