The most fundamental drive to learn.
Here is a puzzle: Finland no longer ranks at the top-- they've been (significantly and materially) surpassed by Singapore and China. Can you extend this discussion to include that change and what it indicates?
Einstein even proclaimed that “play is the highest form of research”. I grew up in Switzerland where Kindergarten starts at age 5 and is purely play-based. We spent the day making up games, role playing, running around the playground, doing puzzles, building, and listening to stories. We did not learn to read, write, or do math apart from writing our own name. At age 7 I went to 1st grade where basic reading, writing, and math skills were quickly picked up because all the students were ready. Many children in Switzerland spend the first two years of Kindergarten playing in forest schools, completely outdoors, all year round. Thanks for this excellent article!