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In the world of childhood education, no nation on Earth has a better reputation than Finland.

Despite a wide range of ongoing social and economic challenges, Finland's education system - its teachers, schools, and teacher training universities - are the envy of educators around the world.

The lessons from Finland's schools can inspire any nation and any school system.

The principal of a huge school in South Korea recently toured one of Finland's elite teacher training universities, a network of schools that is so selective and so intensely focused on research and practice that they represent the "Global Ivy League" of teacher training.

"What do you want to take back home with you?" asked the Finnish school principal.

The Korean school principal sighed, as if it was difficult for him to absorb everything he was experiencing and how different it was from his own nation's education system.
"Everything," he replied.

If you asked many teachers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and elsewhere, they would reply much the same.

For these reasons, Finland should award its own "Nobel Prize" for education.

Every year, a panel of Finnish and international educators can select the schools, teachers, and programs from around the world that offer the strongest benefits for children's learning, health, and well-being. And every year, Finland's national leaders and universities can co-host a ceremony for the world's most prestigious education award: Finland's Prize for Global Education.

Good precedents already exist. Finland issues the Millennium Technology Prize. Sweden awards Nobel Prizes. Hollywood has the Oscars, the Academy Awards.

Partners for the event can include Finnish and Nordic universities, foundations, scientific bodies, and companies.

Every year, the world's attention should focus on Finland as the Global Capital of Childhood Education.

It will be a great thing for Finland, and for the world.

William Doyle is a 2015-2016 Fulbright Scholar and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Eastern Finland, where he lectures on media and education.

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