Thursday, August 28, 2014

Educating Norway

As summer transitions to fall, heading back to school is top of mind for many families. The September issue of Viking magazine is all about education. In the issue, we cover topics such as Nordic colleges stateside, tips on hosting an exchange student and a spotlight on global educators and explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft. On page 38, check out our interview with Norway’s Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen. Isaksen was appointed to his role in October 2013 and is responsible for implementing government policy from nursery school through higher education in Norway. Here’s one more question and answer that didn’t make it into the article.

Q: How does having a strong primary education affect higher education?
A: Achieving better outcomes in education, health and economic productivity depends on developing a wide range of skills. The ability to acquire and retain knowledge is just one skill. Character, including perseverance, motivation, self-esteem, self-control, conscientiousness and forward-thinking behavior, is another set of skills. According to research done by Nobel laureate James Heckman, the most economically efficient time to develop skills and character is in the very early years, when developmental support is most effective. To quote Heckman: “Early learning begets later learning and early success breeds later success.”

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

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