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ERIC Number: EJ777827
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
Dynamic Inequality and Intervention: Lessons from a Small Country
Grubb, W. Norton
Phi Delta Kappan, v89 n2 p105-114 Oct 2007
Nearly every country suffers from dynamic inequality, since certain features of virtually all societies are responsible: variation in family background; variation in the quality of schooling; sometimes sharp differences in the treatment of boys and girls, or of racial and ethnic minorities, or of urban and rural residents. In addition, many countries have points in their systems where testing and tracking create new forms or bursts of inequality. But countries differ in how they respond to the problem. In this article, the author presents the ways that one small but particularly thoughtful country--Finland--has developed a nested series of interventions that seem quite effective in reducing inequality, at least over grades 1 through 9. Then, he describes these Finnish interventions that contrast sharply with common practices in the U.S. and provides some lessons about what effective intervention might require. Finally, the author argues that the important lessons from these programs involve the nature of teacher training, the kinds of personnel available in schools, and the point at which attempts are made to eliminate differences in student achievement--all factors that could be modified in the U.S. to more closely resemble the Finnish approach. (Contains 15 endnotes.)
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-1789. Tel: 800-766-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland; United States