Finland moving to Topic based learning

Finland has been the envy of much of the modern world in the field of education/schools and has proven that it can produce top results with only minimal testing (one standardized test when they are 16) and almost no homework, emphasizing play and creativity. A still radical concept for many countries (including Hong Kong!). Not content on its already impressive and by some measure revolutionary progress Finland is pressing on with even more fundamental reform changing the core of its system away from Subjects to emphasizing Topics with even more emphasis on play!

This is exciting on many levels; imagine a classroom setting where instead of being taught Maths it will be about “Middle Eastern relations” which might cover history, economics, maths and geography or “Animal Conservation in Africa” which would cover the same elements but also include the Sciences. Schools do this today in the form of special projects but it is not at the core of the program and rarely comprehensive focusing still in a very subject-specific manner even though real life today does not function that way (unless you are an academic!). This concept of “joyful learning” is something we could really do a lot better at in Hong Kong!

Full article available here: http://ind.pn/1HbVHsC

Shedding New Idea Resistance

Dr. Peter Attia: Is the obesity crisis hiding a bigger problem is a great self-reflective and very personal speech about his experience in the Medical Profession. He talks about his previous (mis)understanding of obesity/diabetes and how previous prejudice and wrong assumptions led to incorrect treatment that was never questioned and ultimately always led to blaming the patient for not taking better care of their health. Listen to the whole speech below but I liked this quote: “As medical professionals we’d shed our excess mental baggage and cured ourselves of new idea resistance […] the courage to throw out yesterdays ideas and the understanding that scientific truth isn’t final but constantly evolving”.

Shedding excess mental baggage isn’t just limited to the Medical Profession but to every aspect of our personal and professional life. Whatever we were taught before, a lot of it is just completely wrong or completely irrelevant today be it in nutrition, science, healthcare, education, parenting or business practices etc. Many of us have experienced resistance to new ideas and are likely also guilty of the same (including myself) because personal prejudice is developed over time, like plaque on teeth because as we gain new life experiences not all of them are positive and it affects us and it is something that we need to constantly trim and clean as we constantly develop new forms of “prejudicial plaque of the mind”

Keep an open mind and have the courage to throw out yesterdays ideas and know that any “truth” (not just scientific) isn’t final but constantly evolving. Change is what gives us progress, embrace it.