What is “ideal education” and why Finland is on the other side of the hill

Absolutely wonderful talk of Sir Ken Robinson on TED:

Below are two afterthoughts of mine (once again – absolutely wonderful talk):


Finland is mentioned as a “let’s copy” example. However, Finland seems to be facing already a problem of too many too good education (it may be hard to imagine): you cannot improve productivity by 3rd, 4th, 5th computer per person, and you cannot pursue innovations when there are too few “working” people with too many “imagining” people. I am exaggerating, but I am doing it in attempt to see a problem on the other side of really-good-education-for-everyone hill.

How to solve this (partly overstated and exaggerated) problem? In a long run it is not a really difficult problem maybe, it may be solved by army of robots, 3D printers and stuff like that. In a short run, surprisingly, there are certain risks to competitiveness of a country with too good education.

As a remark: population of Finland is app. 5 million people which is about the same as in St. Petersburg and roughly half of it in Belarus.


I cannot say books of Sir Ken Robinson are a definitely recommendable reading – some pages are great to the point of thrilling, some pages are just boring (my personal opinion). But his talks are undeniably great, sparkling. People like SKR make me feel better (less ashamed?!) that I am a human being :).

One point regarding IDEAL EDUCATION SYSTEM – what might it be? I mean, what would be the ultimate goal, the lighthouse and the key criterion to compare different education systems? Ideal system is a system which does not exist while its functions are fulfilled completely. In case of education it means that a person learns by himself/herself – from zero level to the top of respective profession. And the profession (activity, occupation) fits his/her desires/inclinations perfectly (which is called “Element” by SKR). How to reach this ideal result? The environment is to help to sparkle and sustain the interest. Are there any examples of such development in recent history? Yes, e.g. Russian poet Josef Brodsky – from school drop out to Nobel prize winner in spite of vigorous opposition from the Soviet system officials.

What would be the use of the IDEAL EDUCATION SYSTEM for us? It is the ultimate criterion: if there is no sparkling and no sustainable fire afterwards, the system is COMPLETELY useless, no matter how old, respectable or expensive it is. On the other hand, between two systems of equal productivity, the best is the one which is less expensive.

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