The Best Educational Books and Resources About Finnish Education

Finland is well-known for its education system, and there are many resources out for those who want to know more. We've compiled some of the best books, website and webinars to help you get familiar with the Finnish style of education.

Books about Education

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Finnish Lessons 3.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?

By Pasi Sahlberg

In this Third Edition, Pasi Sahlberg updates the story of how Finland sustains its exemplary educational performance, including how it responds to turbulent changes at home and throughout the world. Finnish Lessons 3.0 includes important new material about teachers and teacher education, teaching children with special needs, the role of play in high-quality education and Finland’s responses to growing inequality, slipping international test scores, and the global pandemic.

ISBN-13: 9780807764800 or see where you can buy it.


Want to hear him speak? We hosted him in a special webinar to debunk common myths about Finnish education.

Watch it here!


Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms

by Timothy D. Walker

When Timothy D. Walker started teaching fifth graders at a Helsinki public school, he began a search for the secrets behind Finland's success. Remarkably, Finland is prioritizing the joy of learning in its newest core curricula, and Walker highlights specific strategies that support joyful K-12 classrooms and integrate seamlessly with U.S. educational standards.

ISBN-13; 9781324001256 or see where you can buy it.


Let the Children Play book cover

Let the Children Play: How More Play Will Save Our Schools and Help Children Thrive

by Pasi Sahlberg & William Doyle

Play is how children explore, discover, fail, succeed, socialize, and flourish and gives children the skills they need to succeed. Sahlberg and Doyle traveled worldwide, reviewed over 700 research studies and conducted interviews with over 50 of the world's leading education authorities about the effects of play. They give a glimpse into the play-based experiments and the promising results of these bold approaches.

ISBN-13: 9780190930967 or see where you can buy it.


This book inspired one of our partners to work with us. She subscribed to our Toolkit product and is now bringing Finnish early education to a school in Texas!

Read her story


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 The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way

by Amanda Ripley

America has long compared its students to top-performing kids of other nations, but how do they look through the eyes of an American high school student? Amanda Ripley follows three teenagers who spent one school year living and learning in Finland, South Korea, and Poland. She discovers startling truths about how attitudes, parenting, and rigorous teaching have revolutionized these countries’ education results.

ISBN-13: 9781451654431 or see where you can buy it.


CleverLands: The Secrets Behind the Success of the World's Education Superpowers   by Lucy Crehan

CleverLands: The Secrets Behind the Success of the World's Education Superpowers

by Lucy Crehan

Cleverlands (2016) is the story of Crehan's journey through Finland, Canada, Japan, China and Singapore – five countries regularly at the top of the education charts. She spent three weeks in classrooms in each country, and the result is a guided tour of the world’s best educational systems and a reflection on what success in the UK might look like in light of these varying possibilities.

ISBN-13: 9781783522637 or see where you can buy it.


This book inspired one of our students, an educator from Croatia who enrolled in the HEI Schools Teacher Diploma program so she can teach the Finnish way.

Learn more about the Diploma

In Teachers We Trust: The Finnish Way to World-Class Schools   by Pasi Sahlberg and Timothy D. Walker

In Teachers We Trust: The Finnish Way to World-Class Schools

by Pasi Sahlberg and Timothy D. Walker

In Teachers We Trust (2021) presents a compelling vision, offering practical ideas for educators and school leaders wishing to develop teacher-powered education systems. It reveals why teachers in Finland hold high status and shows what the country’s trust- based school system looks like in action. Sahlberg and Walker suggest seven key principles for building a culture of trust in schools, from offering clinical training for future teachers to encouraging student agency.

ISBN-13: 9780393714005 or see where you can buy it.



HEI Schools Downloadable Resources

Boy reading a bookWe also have our own resources about Finnish education. With expert insights of our pedagogical team, we cover subjects like:

✔️ What makes Finnish early childhood education special

✔️ How teachers are trained in Finland
✔️ Ways to apply the Finnish approach around the world
✔️ How to deal with everyday challenges in the classroom

You can download our free PDFs and save them for later!

Get free resources


Websites about Finnish Education


Finnish National Agency for Education logoThe Finnish National Agency for Education

The FNAE develops education and training and promotes the internationalization of education in Finland. Its website provides many resources explaining the Finnish approach to education.

Education Finland logoEducation Finland

Coordinated by the FNAE, Education Finland is a government cluster program that supports the international growth of the best Finnish educator providers - HEI Schools is one of them!

Go to the Education Finland website.



Webinars about Finnish Education Topics

HEI webinars buddies

At HEI Schools, we host special guests almost every month for interactive webinars about Finnish education. Some examples include:

✔️Special needs and inclusion in Finnish education featuring Finnish researcher Noora Heiskanen
✔️ Play-based STEAM Education in the Early Years featuring Finnish company Kide Science
✔️ Hybrid Learning with Play-Based Pedagogy featuring Finnish educator Marjo-Sisko Pohjola
These and many more webinar recordings await you, all free of charge! Simply register to start exploring the wonderful world of Finnish education!

Watch our webinars