Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award

6-1-2017

Faculty Advisor

Robert Hautala

Abstract

Education is a part of society that affects everyone; it has to thrive in order for future generations to succeed in taking our place. For this reason, it is often debated how to best construct an education system that will be most effective. Through this debate comes the need for reform to morph education systems to fit the changing times and the fluctuating educational needs produced by the progression of time. By identifying Finland as a leading nation in the education world and as something to strive for, we can compare it to the underperforming education system of the United States to explore where the differences lie and how they impact student success rates as shown on the Programme for International Student Assessment. Before diving into educational variations, we look first at a whole picture view of the two countries to gain an idea of the societal context in which to analyze the dissimilarities in their education systems, as well as a background of the ideological fundamentals that form the foundation of their school structures. After gaining a deeper understanding of the social features and common beliefs surrounding education, the reform movements and current education systems of the two countries will be compared side by side, leading up to the identification of areas of Finnish success that can be modified to meet the needs of the United States.

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