Kunal Mukhopadhyay

Human Factor in teaching.

In Pedagogy on October 28, 2007 at 11:14 pm

This evening I caught a part of this documentary where Nigel Bispham of Cornwall visited Finland on a mission to find out what makes Finland score the highest in the world when their lower secondary school pupils were tested in mathematics. Interesting as it was, there was one point that I felt summed the quintessential core of any pedagogical profession – the finnish teacher mentioned that he felt (paraphrased) he was entrusted with the future of Finland in his hands. He did not wish for a classroom of more than 15-16 students, so that he could indeed invest in their education and not be part of a mass production of secondary school passers. In his own words, were the size to be larger and therefore, the basic objective (of educating the future citizens) be compromised, he would resign from his job. Now that’s principle! And commitment to a cause in a profession that was once noble – now..?? I only had more appreciation and respect for the finnish teacher after seeing his dedication and patience with students. It takes a really dedicated teacher to manifest such character. Hat-tip. If only all teachers at all levels, were as motivated and gifted as him. Or at least tried to have the same standards!

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you. That was a magic moment that justified the whole filming project. We were all captivated by the teacher bowing to the class at the start of the lesson. We naturally asked him why and he explained he was paying his respect to the future of the country. This made me wonder whether this wonderful attitude was, at least in part, a result of Finland being a relatively young nation.
    I do, somewhere inside myself, feel that way towards my own students but there doesn’t seem to be the cultural atmosphere in our society to express this in the classroom. I think there should be. I think many of our young people seem less positive about the future and less sure about how they fit into it.

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