There is a need for an increase in the number of students entering fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and the only way for that to happen is for educational reforms to be put into place (PCAST, 2012). Improvement and focus on STEM education are a concern of all nations whether they have an emerging economy or one that is long established. The world of the 21st century is such that in order to compete globally countries must invest in STEM education (Kennedy & Odell, 2014). The United States scores on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) were not in the top ten for reading, mathematics, nor science. To rectify this, it is imperative that changes be made to the educational system (Schleicher, ed., 2012). Looking at countries that are consistently at the top is one way to find potential solutions and models of reform. One country that has successfully reformed their educational system is Finland. Within their educational system, the strategies of collaboration and communication are widely utilized by the instructors as well as the students (Sislian, Gabardo, Macedo, & Ribeiro, 2015). While analyzing a single country’s instructional program can give insights into what makes it successful, it is beneficial to compare that country to others that are also achieving success in order to determine any trends and commonalities. The countries used for this comparison were chosen because they were different culturally, geographically, and politically, but in spite of their differences, they were among the top-scoring nations on the PISA.
Su, Hui Fang Huang "Angie"; Nancy Ledbetter; Jocelyn Ferguson; and La'Trina Timmons
"Finland: An Exemplary STEM Educational System,"
Transformations: Vol. 3
, Article 4.
Available at: http://nsuworks.nova.edu/transformations/vol3/iss1/4