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Finnish Educationalist Pasi Sahlberg Wins LEGO Prize 2016

Finnish Educationalist Pasi Sahlberg Wins LEGO Prize 2016

Former teacher and current scholar Pasi Sahlberg was recently awarded the LEGO Prize 2016, an honor recognizing his efforts to improve education worldwide and attached to a $100,000 cash prize.

"“Pasi Sahlberg wins the LEGO Prize 2016 for his enormously dedicated work to improve the quality of children’s education globally. Pasi Sahlberg is a forerunner in the efforts to ensure quality in children’s learning, which he believes must build on the natural curiosity and collaboration between children,” said the LEGO Foundation’s CEO Hanne Rasmussen in a statement.

" The LEGO Foundation shares this view. A child’s inherent ability to play is paramount in the early years and a catalyst for learning competencies that prepare the child for formal education, creativity and learning. Quality learning supports a respect for children’s playfulness and does not only focus on curriculum that mirrors later educational experience.”

While Sahlberg studies education systems from around the world, he was an educator in Finland and has worked to educate others about lessons that can be learned from Finland (He authored the best-selling book: “Finnish Lessons: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland.”)

Sahlberg frequently speaks out about over-testing as well as has spoken out against the Common Core in the past.

He told the Huffington Post in 2015:

"Oh, yes, and Common Core? Well, since teachers are highly educated professionals there is no need for tight central government control of what or how teachers teach in Finland. Teaching and learning are highly individualized in schools and customized to the needs of children and communities. 

Right now, Sahlberg is a visiting professor at Harvard University and serves as an advisor to many governments and international agencies.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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