April 22, 2020
Derasat researcher Ghada Abdulla authored a research paper titled “Between the US and Finland: Different Educational Systems and Their Impacts on Developing Curricula” that discusses recommendations for Bahrain to improve its educational system based on analyzing the educational systems of the US and Finland. Finland has a public schooling system with no competition from the private sector. The educational system in Finland is also highly decentralized, with schools and teachers setting their own personalized curriculum and assessments, teachers are trusted, and there is little focus on assessment-based accountability. Meanwhile, the US focuses on fostering competition, so the private sector plays an important role in the educational system, and additional policies are introduced, such as charter schools and school vouchers, which all aim to increase competition. Additionally, in the US teaching and learning are standardized and there is a strong focus on assessment-based accountability. This paper aims to analyze the contrasting educational policies of Finland and the US, and draws lessons for Bahrain based on this analysis.