Journal of Educational Change

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 173–185

The Fourth Way of Finland


DOI: 10.1007/s10833-011-9157-y

Cite this article as:
Sahlberg, P. J Educ Change (2011) 12: 173. doi:10.1007/s10833-011-9157-y


Globalization has increased mobility of people, resources, and ideas. It is also affecting how governments think about education and what schools teach to their students. Attributes related to education for a knowledge society, sustainable development, or 21st century skills are parts of current national educational policies and reforms. A powerful pretext for global educational reform thinking is current international student assessments. As a consequence, particular educational reform orthodoxy has emerged that relies on a set of basic assumptions in order to improve the quality of education and fix other educational deficiencies. This article describes the beginning of the present global educational reform movement discussing some of its key characteristics and implications in practice. Although overlooked by many policy analysts, Finland represents a striking and highly successful alternative to this global educational reform movement. The scholarly work of Andy Hargreaves is seen as essential in understanding the requirements and resources that are needed in securing good public education for all in the future.


Educational change Educational reform Educational policy Globalization 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation (CIMO)HelsinkiFinland

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