The latest PISA results are out. Extensively quoting:

  • Finland, with an average of 563 score points, was the highest-performing country on the PISA 2006 science scale.- Six other high-scoring countries had mean scores of 530 to 542 points: Canada, Japan and New Zealand and the partner countries/economies Hong Kong-China, Chinese Taipei and Estonia. Australia, the Netherlands, Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Ireland, and the partner countries/economies Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Macao-China also scored above the OECD average of 500 score points.- On average across OECD countries, 1.3% of 15-year-olds reached Level 6 of the PISA 2006 science scale, the highest proficiency level. These students could consistently identify, explain and apply scientific knowledge, and knowledge about science, in a variety of complex life situations. In New Zealand and Finland this figure was at least 3.9%, three times the OECD average. In the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and Canada, as well as the partner countries/economies Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Hong Kong-China, between 2 and 3% reached Level 6.

Speculating on just what it is that makes Finns do so well at running and performing well in education systems is a fun past time for Riina and I. One of my personal favourites is food. Finnish schools provide hot lunches for all students, every day. Kids are practically guaranteed of having a proper lunch – not a Mars Bar ( or Fani Pala – my favourite. Kismet is also great. ) and Coke. Having a good diet will no doubt help for concentration and learning. That’s got to be an advantage.