Riitta focusses on the playful and collaborative aspects of the activity. Library Island allows people to jointly approach difficult issues in a safely fictional setting, before taking the lessons learned back into the real world, where they may be applied to achieve practical goals.
Sirota’s article gives the lie to claims that a culture of rigorous testing is the only way to improve standards in US schools – pointing to Finland’s success in creating a world-class education system by cherishing teachers, rather than imposing tests.
Teaching staff lie at the heart of Finland’s achievement. Well-trained, well-supported and given a great deal of independence, Finland’s teachers are trusted academic professionals, choosing their methods and materials themselves. Testing is used as the teacher sees fit – for self-evaluation and development, rather than for league tables and outcomes.