Showing posts from September, 2013

Designing 21st century learning environments

by Marco Kools
Analyst, Innovation and Measuring Progress Division, Directorate for Education and Skills

Innovation is a key element of today’s societies and economies, and that includes how we learn. Much has been written about innovation in education, but what does it really mean in practice in terms of content, organisation of learning, roles of teachers, etc.? How does one design a powerful learning environment that enables students to thrive in the 21st century?

The just released OECD publication Innovative Learning Environments responds to these challenging questions. This publication is based on the detailed analysis of 40 in-depth case studies of powerful 21st century learning environments (schools) that have taken the innovation journey. It presents a new framework for understanding these learning environments and is a valuable addition to the toolbox of those who believe in the value of innovation in education to ensure its central preoccupation – improve learning.

The analysi…

Meet the typical student

by Ignacio Marin and Corinne Heckmann
Innovation and Measuring Progress division, Directorate for Education and Skills

With the new academic year beginning (in the Northern hemisphere at least), more than 23 million people across the OECD and G20 countries will be heading to university for the first time this year. As the latest Education Indicators in Focus brief shows, these new students will be a more diverse group than ever before – but some things don’t change.

Who are the average new entrants? If you look at the averages, new entry students these days will be female, 22 years old, and about to embark on over four years of study in the social sciences. But these averages conceal wide variations between nations – in some countries such as Belgium, Japan and Indonesia, students still generally enter university straight from school, whereas in places like Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden the average age is over 25, with young people tending to spend time in the workforce before going …

Order in the classroom

by Marilyn Achiron
Editor, Directorate for Education and Skills

There was a good reason why our teachers demanded our attention in class: it wasn’t about power; it was about performance – ours. As this month’s PISA in Focus shows, the disciplinary climate in schools is strongly related to student performance.

You might be surprised to learn that, according to the reports of students who participated in PISA 2009, most students in most PISA-participating countries and economies enjoy orderly classrooms. For example, across OECD countries, more than two out of three students reported that never or hardly ever is there noise and disorder in their classrooms. In some countries, classrooms are models of orderliness: fewer than one in ten students in Korea and Thailand reported that they cannot work well in class because of disruptions; and fewer than one in ten students in Japan, Kazakhstan and Shanghai-China reported that their teacher has to wait a long time for students to quiet down bef…

When life means school again

by Dirk Van Damme
Head of the Innovation and Measuring Progress division, Directorate for Education and Skills

“Non scholae, sed vitae discimus” (after Seneca)

September’s here again. For millions of kids living in the northern hemisphere September means the end of summer vacation and the start of a new school year. For some of them it means an encounter with something they haven’t experienced before, for many others it is a return to already familiar routines. But for all of them school is going to be the place where they are going to spend the greater part of their young lives.

Children are starting school at an ever younger age,OECD’s recent Education at a Glance 2013 shows that in 2011 on average over 84% of all four year-old children were enrolled in some form of formal education, which is 5% more than in 2005. In 25 OECD countries at least half of three year-old children participated in early childhood education, and in countries such as Belgium, France, Iceland, Norway and Spain…