Just learned this week of a new forthcoming documentary film I am eager to see and support, The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System.

The film is a convergence of three particularly fascinating topics  & persons:

  • it profiles the remarkable story of Finland’s extraordinary educational success in international testing and the somewhat unexpected methodology by which it achieves this success;
  • it features Tony Wagner, my good friend and the author of the Global Achievement Gap, a book which regular readers of the blog here will immediately recognize as being an enormous influence on my educational vision;
  • and it is produced by Bob Compton, a film-maker best known for 2 million minutes and someone with whom some will remember I had a bit of debate with here on these pages in October 2009.

I should say how very happy I am that Bob Compton has taken this initiative to study Finnish schools and to work with Tony Wagner. Bob and I conducted a vigorous debate about our competing perceptions of best practices in 21st century learning, but I nobody can dispute his deeply held passion for improving education for all our students, and I respect and appreciate his open-minded effort to pursue, around the world, best practices in teaching and learning and to share them with his powerful film-making style.

It is not clear to me,  after the premier at the National Press Center March 24, when and how the film will be more widely available, but I know that we at St. Gregory would be thrilled to have the opportunity to screen it, and we certainly extend a warm welcome to Bob Compton to return to Tucson to share with us this new film.