FinnFest Education Forum: Aug 6-7 at the Carlson School

Mailing Date: 
July 24, 2014

FinnFest Education Conference: August 6th & 7th

Minnesota Colleagues:

We wanted to be sure you were aware of the FinnFest scheduled August 6-7, 2014 at the U of MN Carlson School of Management. E|E's Ted Kolderie is featured on the closing panel, along with Pasi Sahlberg.

Sahlberg is a former Finnish education official and a lead "explainer" of Finnish schools in the United States. In August 2012, he arranged for a delegation of 43 American education experts to visit Finland. The delegation included Minnesotans Ted Kolderie and Mary Cathryn Ricker (recently named Executive Vice President of the AFT).

There are lessons our country and our state can learn from Finland—most notably, their intentional decision to trust their teachers.

Below is a bit more information on the event, or see their website.

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Great education and Finland have become synonymous. Finland has been "leading by example" for decades, despite its late emergence in the 20th century as a fully independent nation. Finnish students are at the top or near the top in all categories of world educational achievement. The Education Forum will bring together government policy makers and educational theorists from Finland and the United States for an exchange of ideas with school administrators, classroom teachers, parents, and students.

A focus on Education in a 21st Century World aims to provide attendees an opportunity to help envision and define a workable, viable and equitable future for public education that engages and serves all people. It asks these questions: "How can we make learning fun for children and adults to enjoy? How do we discern what is new and effective from what is merely new?"

The lectures and panel discussions will allow a dialogue among the top education thinkers and everyday practitioners to develop a plan that will move advance education in the US and abroad. Diverse points of view will be represented including:

  • Pasi Sahlberg, PhD, a Finnish educator and scholar, is a visiting professor of practice at Harvard University
  • Anja Kurki, Ph.D. is a Principal Researcher and research methodologist at the American Institute for Research (AIR). Testing educational or behavioral interventions funded by the U.S. Department of Education and other funders around special needs education.
  • Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Minnesota’s education commissioner, charged with the mission of improving educational achievement for children from PreK-12.
  • Hector Garcia, Executive Director of Chicano Latino Affairs Council (CLAC), co‐founded, with INS District Director and community leaders, the Twin Cities Immigrant Community Roundtable.
  • Michael Muñoz started his tenure as Superintendent of Rochester Public Schools on July 1, 2011 and is an advocate for providing high, quality education for all children.
  • And more...

The program explores new learning strategies that emphasize 21st century skills while keeping learning fun. "Fun learning" motivates kids by tapping into their intrinsic curiosity, creativity and their experience with and interest in the latest technology. It is time to examine new developments in educational tools!

From Cradle to Career, Education for the 21st Century World is open to all interested in education policy and practices. It is set for Wednesday and Thursday August 6-7, 9:00 am-5:00 pm at Carlson School of Management, 3M Auditorium, University of Minnesota. A full two-day registration is $160 and a one day registration for either day is $90. The fee includes snacks and box lunch. CEU’s will be available for teachers and administrators. Register at For more details contact Education Program Director Monika Hoffman, at (952) 649-2971 or

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