Showing posts from September, 2016

Educating for Innovation and Innovation in Education

by Andreas Schleicher
Director, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

People have quite different views on the role that digital technology can and should play in schools. But we just can’t ignore how digital tools have so fundamentally transformed the world around schools. Students unable to navigate through our complex digital landscape are simply no longer able to participate in our social, economic and cultural life.

In the past, education was about teaching people something. Now, it’s about helping students develop a reliable compass and the navigation skills to find their own way through an increasingly uncertain, volatile and ambiguous world. These days, we no longer know exactly how things will unfold, often we are surprised and need to learn from the extraordinary, and sometimes we make mistakes along the way. And it will often be the mistakes and failures, when properly understood, that create the context for learning and growth.

A generation ago, teachers could expect tha…

Leaders for learning

by Montserrat Gomendio
Deputy Director, Directorate for Education and Skills

The success of the Olympic games this year has been thrilling to watch, with the coaches of different teams playing a widely recognised role. As leaders with a vision, coaches choose the members of their teams, assign roles, train and support athletes. In the same way, leaders in all fields are recognised as having a huge responsibility in the success or failure of their teams.
The role that is expected of school principals varies enormously, and the consequences of different leadership styles remain unclear. Should school leaders focus on administration, on curriculum and teaching related tasks, on the support and professional development of teachers, or on a combination of all of the above? What kind of training is needed to become a school principal? What type of decision making is more effective: a leader with the vision to integrate all actors or a distributed system in which most decisions are shared?


Can OECD’s data guide the world towards better education systems?

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

What do we have to do to ensure that all children and adults around the world get the best possible education? This question is important not only for individuals’ futures, but also for the fate of the planet. The outcomes of education will determine whether mankind will be able to face the many challenges ahead, from climate change to migration, from peace to economic growth and social progress. At the same time, the question is also tremendously difficult to answer. Historically, education systems have developed at different paces, under varying social, religious and cultural conditions. In a diverse and fragmented world, there are many definitions of “good education”.
Therefore, it is a small wonder that the world has been able to agree on a shared vision for the future of education by negotiating an ambitious goal for education as one of the Sustainable Developmen…

What makes education governance and reform work beyond the drawing table?

by Florian Köster
Analyst, Directorate for Education and Skills, OECD
Today’s education systems need to adapt practices to local diversity while ensuring common goals. Given the complexity of modern education systems, seemingly straightforward changes may result in unexpected consequences, making effective production, use and exchange of knowledge – policy-relevant know-how – across the system indispensable. Good governance requires opening up the knowledge system to a broad range of stakeholders. It needs to allow for competing know-how on all governance-levels and must create practices that manage to integrate different forms of knowledge.

Just published, Education Governance in Action: Lessons from Case Studies bridges theory and practice by connecting major themes in education governance to real-life reform efforts in various countries. The publication builds upon detailed case studies of education reform efforts in Flanders (Belgium), Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Swe…

Complex mathematics isn’t for everyone (but maybe it should be)

by Marilyn Achiron
Editor, Directorate for Education and Skills

Put a complicated algebraic equation or geometry problem in front of a 15-year-old student (or, for that matter, just about anyone) and you can almost see the brain at work: I. Can’t. Do.This.

Most of us have found ourselves in this situation at one point or another. But many students, particularly students from disadvantaged backgrounds, have never seen these kinds of mathematics problems; their teachers have decided they’re not up to the challenge.  Some might call these students “lucky”; but this month’s PISA in Focus argues otherwise. Results from PISA 2012 show that while weaker students report higher anxiety when confronted with complex mathematics problems, if their teachers work with them individually, without “dumbing down” the mathematics lesson, these students tend to develop more positive beliefs in their own abilities to solve mathematics problems. PISA 2012 finds that, on average across OECD countries, about 70…