How They Do It Abroad

The U.S. can learn lessons from several nations that consistently train their teachers well

Erol Gurian / LAIF / Redux

A challenging curriculum is emphasized at Tammersoken Luko High School in Finland, where students conduct an experiment in a natural-sciences class

When school starts each year, the most important question on the minds of parents and children is, Who will my teacher be? The concern is well founded. Researchers have discovered that school's deepest influence on learning depends on the quality of the teacher. Students lucky enough to have teachers who know their content and how to teach it well achieve more. And the effects of a very good (or very poor) teacher last beyond a single year, influencing a student's learning for years. Put simply, expert teachers are the most fundamental resource for improving education.

This lesson has been well learned...

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