Comparison of Texas and Finnish Education Systems
The Finnish education system is widely considered to be one of the best in the world (Chung, 2019). Educators from many countries have examined Finland’s system to determine what makes it so successful (Nieme et al., 2012). As Finland continues to maintain a high standard, Texas has steadily fallen in rank in the United States and requires much improvement (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2016). After attending courses at the University of Helsinki in Finland to learn more about the Finnish education system, my experience suggested many areas in which Texas could improve to achieve a more successful education system for its students and teachers. To test this hypothesis, I conducted surveys of Texas and Finnish teachers. I compared the results to the latest data of student satisfaction surveys taken by the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED). After obtaining results from sixty-nine teachers, I concluded that there is a significant difference between the two locations when comparing teacher education levels and the implementation of standardized testing. As shown in my analysis, Finnish teachers obtain higher education levels. This is considered to be one of the main reasons for Finland’s successful education system (Juusola & Räihä, 2018). Another factor shown from the data is the importance of the absence of standardized testing of Finnish students. The Finnish students benefit from the decision to end high-stakes standardized tests. This policy was implemented in the 1970s after Finland went through significant education reform. In this thesis, I assert that this data indicates that two significant educational changes should be undertaken in Texas. The Texas Education Agency should require higher quality education for Texas teachers and eliminate the administration of high-stakes standardized tests.