Mathematics Lessons from Finland and Sweden

  • Mathematics Lessons from Finland and Sweden

    Rebecca L. Seaberg
    International comparisons highlight many differences and a few similarities among these two countries and the United States.
    When responding to a question about why mathematics education is going so well in Finland, a Finn might just answer, "Tämä on Suomi!" ("This is Finland!"). When a Finnish upper-secondary mathematics teacher asked his quiet students, who were busy taking notes, "Hur många element i den aritmatiska talföljden {6, 21, 36, 51, . . .} är mindre än 10000?" at least half the students raised their hands with ideas. The question translates as "How many elements in this arithmetic sequence {6, 21, 36, 51, . . .} are less than 10,000?" (Some Finnish schools are Swedish speaking.)
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