Nina's Notes

for Effective Teaching and Meaningful Learning


Choosing How to Teach & Teaching How to Choose: Using the 3Cs to Improve Learning is Nina’s Book/eBook            



What’s the best way of changing the way we approach teaching and learning for students?  Being informed and empowered by the very people who work hands-on with it in their profession – teachers! 

There is also a growing global understanding about the importance of this empowerment:

“For those who have successful experience of education, and who see themselves as capable learners, continuing learning is an enriching experience, which increases their sense of control over their own lives.” (OECD, 1997b, p.1)


Empowerment is an underlying principle in all real learning. For a teacher, it means helping students either master the subject so well that they will not need a teacher anymore, or to become self-sufficient so that they know where to find more information if they need to learn more. For a student, it means being accountable for your own learning, being encouraged to learn more, and also taking responsibility for your choices.


Student empowerment is, in principle, actually the same as in raising children: teaching students how to connect pieces of information to give that information context, and helping them to make good choices so that they can successfully meet challenges in life.


It is not enough if students can pass a test, if education does not give them real-life knowledge. We all know that effective education can do better for our students. Let me help you to support your students’ learning!



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.