Daniela Fairchild, a researcher at The Thomas Fordham Institute in DC, recently published a review of my documentary, The Finland Phenomenon, in their weekly blog - The Gadfly. I felt it missed the mark.
I wrote a reply to her comments and the Institute had the courtesy to publish my essay in its entirety:
Letter to the Gadfly: The power of trust
By Bob Compton
By way of background, I have spent twenty-five years as a venture capitalist and high-tech entrepreneur, recognizing talent and building companies around the world. I have also led several teams in turning around poor performing organizations. Those experiences inform the documentary films I have produced over the past five years.
For The Finland Phenomenon, I selected Dr. Tony Wagner, author of the Global Achievement Gap and Harvard researcher, as my collaborator and on-screen narrator. He has thirty years of experience in education as well as sensitivity to the subtleties of complex systems.
In her review, Ms. Fairchild dismisses my depiction of the Finns’ “culture of trust” in education with her derisive comments that Dr. Wagner “heralds [this] as the magic bean of Finland’s success” and by warning her readers not to “be hypnotized by Wagner’s fluffy thoughts on the culture of trust.”