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Showing posts from May, 2018

Five myths about education, debunked

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By Andreas Schleicher Director, Directorate for Education and Skills
Photo credit: Shutterstock
It’s so much easier to educate students for our past than for their future. Schools are inherently conservative social systems; as parents we get nervous when our children learn things we don’t understand, and even more so when they no longer study things that were so important for us. Teachers are more comfortable teaching how they were taught than how they were taught to teach. And, as a politician, you can lose an election over education issues, but you can rarely win one, because it takes far more than an election cycle to translate intentions into results.

So changing education bureaucracies seems like moving graveyards: it’s often hard to rely on the people out there to help, because the status quo has so many protectors. The biggest risk to schooling today isn’t its inefficiency, but that our way of schooling is losing its purpose and relevance. And when fast gets really fast, being sl…

Why social emotional learning matters for migrant students and how schools can help

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By Andreas Schleicher, Director, Directorate for Education and Skills and John McLaughlin,Deputy Education & Early Childhood Development Minister, New Brunswick
Photo credit: Feliphe Schiarolli/Unsplash
The world is experiencing major geopolitical, economic, environmental and social shifts resulting in increased international migration. In turn, migration flows are having a snowball effect on cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity in many of today's classrooms, particularly in cities and large metropolitan areas. As a result, calls for schools to help their students develop social and emotional skills – in addition to strong academic skills – are growing louder. Social and emotional skills are crucial for a child’s ability to thrive in complex, interconnected and highly diverse environments in and outside of school. Additionally, the OECD’s own work has shown that these skills are crucial assets for the working environments of the 21st  century.
We should view m…

Where will tomorrow's graduates come from?

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By Marie-Helene Doumet Senior Analyst, Directorate for Education and Skills

Knowledge has become the new currency of today’s economy. Digitalisation, technological innovation and globalisation have together made intellectual capital the most important asset in today’s era, and countries have responded by increasing access to higher education like never before.

By the end of the 20th century, the United States was the highest supplier of tertiary graduates in the world. Around the same time, the share of 25-34 year-olds holding a higher education degree reached above 40% in only two OECD countries: Canada and Japan. But no one would have disputed back then that the two population giants, China and India, would one day play a major role in supplying the world’s graduates. By 2015, 37 million young adults held a higher education degree in China and 30 million in India. Together, they represent 40% of the total pool of tertiary-educated young adults worldwide, more than the EU and the Amer…

What current education ministers can learn from their predecessors

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By Andreas Schleicher
Director, Directorate for Education and Skills


Photo credit: © Varkey Foundation
Last October, I attended the inaugural meeting of the Atlantis Group – an organisation comprised of former education ministers from across the world. Over the course of two days, these former ministers shared their experiences and insights in tackling common challenges, and discussed the role of political leadership in education.

It was fascinating to see former leaders share insights and common practices. But two things struck me as particularly interesting: virtually every former minister said they wished they had known on their first day what they knew on their last day; and nearly everyone wished they had been far more courageous and aware of the policy space for deep and lasting change that had actually been available.

While some new ministers will have access to a body of research and data to inform their decision-making, few will have the opportunity to learn from their predeces…

Working together to improve adult skills in Portugal

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By Andreas Schleicher Director, Directorate for Education and Skills
Photo credit: xtock/Shutterstock
In the span of a few decades, Portugal has transformed into an inclusive democracy. Its citizens enjoy a good standard of living, and despite being severely impacted by the financial crisis, the country’s economy is growing once again.

Portugal has made impressive progress in education, as well, with attainment rates rising continuously and youth academic performance fast improving. Yet although many young Portuguese people now complete their education and acquire skills that will be needed in the future – including digital skills – a large number of older, low-educated adults are at risk of falling behind.
Equipping all Portuguese adults with the right skills will be critical for Portugal and its people to address the challenges of the future and seize the opportunities it presents. More than 50% of working-age adults in Portugal have not completed secondary education. As a result, t…