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Pasi  Sahlberg

Pasi Sahlberg

Renowned Finnish Educator & Scholar


Pasi Sahlberg is a Finnish educator, scholar and a visiting Professor of Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He has long career in education holding various expert and leadership capacities in Finland, including policies and reforms that are associated to Finland’s successful education system. Read More >

licies and reforms that are associated to Finland’s successful education system.

Dr. Sahlberg is an active figure in promoting educational changes in Finland and beyond. He has published several books, such as Cooperative Learning Handbook (with Shlomo Sharan in 2002) and Small Group Learning in Mathematics (with John Berry in 2003) and more than one hundred articles in journals, research periodicals and magazines around the world. Dr. Sahlberg’s professional interests are in educational change and leadership, student learning and global education policy development. He has worked with OECD, World Bank, European Union and several governments in 50 countries across the globe.

Dr. Sahlberg was a member of the Board of Directors of ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2011-2014) and IASCE (International Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education, since 2006) and member of the Advisory Board of the Center on International Education Benchmarking. He earned his PhD from the University of Jyväskylä (Finland) in 1996 and is Adjunct Professor at the Universities of Helsinki and Oulu. His latest post in Finland was Director General of Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation (CIMO) at Ministry of Education and Culture.

Active in social media and public debates about education, Dr. Sahlberg’s book, Finnish Lessons: What can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? (2011), won the 2013 Grawemeyer Award and he received the 2012 Education Award in Finland and 2011 Upton Sinclair Award in the United States. The LEGO foundation also recognized Dr.Sahlberg's efforts to improve education worldwide by awarding him the LEGO Prize 2016. Known as the international “school improvement activist,” Dr. Sahlberg directly links to practitioners, their communities and many other education audiences by sharing his experiences in classroom teaching, teacher education, school improvement and global educational change. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

Innovation Overload in American Education Reform

Education reforms in the United States look intensively for the next great innovation that would unlock the door to school improvement. Billions of dollars have been spent each year on innovation through special programs, initiatives, structural changes and research. In this presentation, Sahlberg argues that it is the overemphasis on innovation that prevents American education system from learning from its rich past and from other countries. The way forward, therefore, requires that education policies and reforms in the United States build more on ideas and innovation that have made other education systems bloom, most of those are American ideas anyway. The purpose of this presentation is to bring new perspectives to American education and hope to those who think there is nothing to do to improve education for all children.

Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?

What Can School Leaders do to Improve Learning?