The Dutch Way in Education (review)

It looks like Holland has become the next Finland. Alma Harris *1 calls our educational system ‘a hidden gem’ *2. And indeed we are not doing that bad (typical Dutch expression for being proud) in international comparisons. Not only in PISA, but also in PIRLS and in OECD rankings (though spending less than the OECD average). We have a high rate of participation in higher education and 94% of our population is speaking two or more languages (p. 7). We have considerably success in ensuring that equality of opportunity is prioritized and realized *3. In addition: our children are ‘the happiest in the world’. (p. 236)

Reason for a publication about our educational system: The Dutch Way in Education; Teach, learn & lead the Dutch Way. The immediate reason being the celebration of the centenary of the Pacification of 1917, that brought an end to the battle between the Protestant and Catholic schools over freedom of education, and introduced equal funding for all schools. (p. 5)

The first aim of the book is: to take proper pride in showing that the Dutch education system makes some original choices and has a great deal to offer. Others aims are to contribute to the worldwide discourse on ‘good’ education, and to position the Netherlands as an alternative in the discussion about paradigms. (p. 8)

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