Nina's Notes

for Effective Teaching and Meaningful Learning


Fostering learning is very simple. In addition to open-endedness there are some other qualities in my mind I decided to name as


Communicate. Have a dialogue with your students, the most effective communication is reciprocal and includes negotiations of meaning.
 Acknowledge their competence, and help to add into it. Validate their knowledge and understanding.
 Feedback early and often. Provide feedback about the process (think of mapping the ground that lies ahead them, it is easier to steer clear when you know where the pitfalls are).
 Encourage and empower. Support their choices. Point out other possible directions (make sure not to choose for students).

And just like coffee, or life in general, also education is best when you enjoy it – not shoved down your throat.

Not all education reform is the same. There is a different model:

The Fourth Way is a way of inspiration and innovation, of responsibility and sustainability. The Fourth Way does not drive reform relentlessly through teachers, use them as final delivery points for government policies, or vacuum up their motivations into a vortex of change that is defined by short-term political agendas and the special interests with which they are often aligned.Rather, it brings together government policy, professional involvement, and public engagement around an inspiring social and educational vision of prosperity, opportunity, and creativity in a world of greater inclusiveness, security, and humanity ( Hargreaves & Shirley 2009, p. 71).

This is what The Finnish Way looks like:

In the Fourth Way of Finland, teachers design and pursue high quality learning and shared goals and improve their schools continuously through professional teamwork and networks, from evidence, and from literature in their trade. (Sahlberg, 2011)

Finland has shown the effect of this empowerment-based education reform in several consecutive PISA results.

Hargreaves, A., & Shirley, D. (2009). The fourth way: The inspiring future of educational change. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Sahlberg, P. (2011). The fourth way of Finland. Journal of Educational Change,12(2), 173-185.