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July 15th, 2013
01:19 PM ET

Morgan Spurlock visits Finnish 8th grade classroom

Finland has one of the best school systems in the world, and Morgan Spurlock spent a day in a Finnish 8th grade classroom where one of the day's lessons was called, “Things That Are Typically American”.

According to the textbook, Finnish kids associate the following with the typical American: Uncle Sam, McDonalds, Mickey Mouse, the Simpsons, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.

One student admitted to Spurlock that he, in fact, does think Americans drive big trucks and eat fast food. The teacher made sure to point out that she didn't want the kids' view of Americans to be so stereotypical, calling the United States "a great country," saying: "There’s a lot to see and a lot more than just this hamburger culture."

Watch the Education episode of Morgan Spurlock's "Inside Man" Sunday, July 21 at 10 p.m. ET


Filed under: Education
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  1. Maria P. Horton

    I also watched this Education episode of Finnish school and as a Finn living in the U.S.A. I loved it. Ed is right about problems with American education. I have one example. My 5-year old then, native English speaker, entered Kindergarten (Public Charter School) in year 2012. I wrote down in the Enrollment Form child's first language: English, the most spoken language: English, any other languages at home: I wrote English and Finnish (because I speak it but my child can't carry any conversation with it). On August 21, 2012 I get the call and big news from ESOL teacher that my child qualifies. You got to be kidding! When she entered her room, she was native English speaker and when she came out of ESOL teacher's room she was ELL (English language learner). Our child has never learned any other languages before English, she still (as First Grader) can't make any conversation in Finnish, but she is ELL. Ridiculous! January 2013 (5 months after becoming "ELL") she had to take ACCESS test (even she is for real native English speaker) to score out of the ESOL system. She did score "out of the ESOL system" after the Exam (in January 2013),but is now being monitored for 2 (two) years all together how her English language is improving, the language she has spoken since she started talking. Her primary language is English and she is put thru this stuff! When ESOL teacher makes a mistake, your child is stuck in it (Federal Law) and that is wrong! This kind of mistake would not happen in Finland. Ps. There are many others whose children have been misidentified in these American schools and no one cares. It can happen to children whose both parents are American. In our case other parent born in the U.S.A to American parents and the other one born in Finland.

    March 25, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  2. Maria P. Horton

    I also watched this Education episode of Finnish school and as a Finn living in the U.S.A. I loved it. Ed is right about problems with American education. I have one example. My 5-year old, native English speaker, entered Kindergarten (Public Charter School) in year 2012. I wrote down in the Enrollment Form child's first language: English, the most spoken language: English and any other languages home: I wrote English and Finnish (because I speak it but my child can't carry

    March 25, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  3. Ed

    One issue I understand about the Finnish system is that only educators make decisions about education. College is not the only answer. Less than 50% of incoming students graduate from college and many of them still have a debt from student loans. There are so many problems with American education but the biggest is the fact that politicians make educational decisions, not educators. Arne Duncan was not a teacher nor Michelle Rhee.

    July 21, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Reply

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