Showing posts from November, 2011

‘Internationalist, not isolationist’

Randi Weingarten, attorney, educator and president of the 1.5 million-member American Federation of Teachers spoke with Marilyn Achiron during an afternoon at OECD headquarters.

Marilyn Achiron:To what extent do you look to international examples for improving teaching performance? To what extent is that important to you?
Randi Weingarten: Good practice and what works knows no geographic boundaries. We should be looking for it wherever we find it. To borrow somebody else’s expression, the world has become more and more flat, more and more accessible, more and more global. Therefore, in some ways, geographic boundaries mean very little in the economic system of the world. When you know that, then you have to look around the world to see what is working, how to innovate, how to ensure that kids have the skills that they need so that they can compete, or at least so that they can be enabled not simply to dream their dreams, but to achieve them. So whether you think about it from a process…

Calling all youth: Get involved in the OECD Global Youth Video Competition 2012

by Desiree Quinteros
OECD Global Youth Video Competition 2011 winner and Consultant to the OECD Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development

Where am I going to work after I finish my studies? This is the question all young students face sooner or later, but finding a quick answer is growing more and more difficult. Finding the “dream job” has never been easy, but finding a “job” is becoming harder, particularly after the financial and economic crisis. As the OECD Emploment Outlook 2011 points out, “while overall unemployment has fallen from its recessionary peak, it is still high in many countries, especially for vulnerable groups such as disadvantaged youth”.

After three, four, five or even more years studying, young professionals expect to not only to find a job, but a well-paid and productive one. The recent crisis showed that more action is needed to reduce youth vulnerability to changing political and economic conditions: in the first quarter of 2011, the unempl…

Early childhood education: an international development issue

by Ian Whitman
Head of the Programme for Co-operation with Non Member Economies, OECD Directorate for Education

Quality, quality, quality – that’s what matters most. This was the overwhelming cry at the international conference I attended in Beijing this week on early childhood development, “Child Leads, Equity Counts”. Feng Xiaoxia, the Former President of the Chinese National Society of Early Childhood Education went as far as to say that without quality (in early childhood education and care), access doesn’t much matter.
Evidence bears the importance of quality out, as we find in Investing in high-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC):
The Effective Pre-school and Primary Education (EPPE) longitudinal study carried out in English found that the quality of pre-school setting was still exerting a positive effect on literacy and maths after the children had been at school for five years. However, the children who had gone to low-quality pre-schools were no different from tho…

The parent factor in student performance

by Marilyn Achiron
Editor, Indicators and Analysis Division, Directorate for Education

The latest PISA report Let's Read Them a Story! The Parent Factor in Education has just been published.

When it comes to parents’ involvement in their child’s education, is there really such a thing as “quality time”?

Evidence from PISA, highlighted in this issue of  PISA in Focus, suggests there is. Parents who are concerned that they don’t have enough time–or, for that matter, expertise–to help their children succeed at school can find some comfort in knowing that it doesn’t take a PhD or unlimited hours to make a difference in their children’s school career. What it does take is genuine interest and active engagement in their children’s lives.

For example, students whose parents reported, through a PISA questionnaire, that they had read a book with their child “every day or almost every day” or “once or twice a week” during their child’s first year of primary school had markedly higher reading…

Finding your way in the higher education marketplace

by Richard Yelland
Head of the Education Management and Infrastructure Division, OECD Directorate for Education

Suppose you are running a business with global brand recognition and tens of thousands of customers trying to buy your product. You can choose to remain exclusive and put the price up, or you might want to increase production to meet demand.

If you are running a university you might well find that your Government won’t allow you to do either of these things. Indeed, they might not even allow you to charge for your product at all. At the same time some of your competitors benefit from public subsidies and strong support for their export efforts.

As higher education has grown and expanded over the past fifty years its international dimension has become stronger. OECD data show that the numbers of students attending institutions outside their country of origin tripled between 1985 and 2008 and expectations are that the market will continue to grow.

It is however a very asymmetric…