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Showing posts from June, 2018

Why we should care more about who our future teachers will be

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By Noémie Le Donné
Analyst, Directorate for Education and Skills


Image credit: Education and Employers, "Drawing the Future"
“What would you like to be when you grow up?” is not only an adult’s favourite icebreaker when speaking with children – it's also a key consideration for policy makers who truly care about students’ futures. This is especially true when the answer to the question is: “I want to be a teacher.”

Faced with teacher shortages, recruitment challenges, and concerns about the social standing of the teaching profession, policy makers need to design strategies to attract more, better-qualified candidates to the teaching profession. But before doing that, they need to know who tomorrow’s teachers might be.

In 2015, the PISA survey asked 15-year-old students the following forward-looking question: “What kind of job do you expect to have when you are about 30 years old?” Our new report, Effective Teacher Policies: Insights from PISA, reveals some enlightening fin…

How can technology support teaching and learning more effectively?

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By Marc Fuster Rabella
Consultant, Directorate for Education and Skills

Photo credit: John Schnobrich/Unsplash
When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 15th century, it marked one of the most revolutionary technological developments in human history. Gutenberg’s invention allowed for the universalisation of knowledge and the rapid spread of new ideas. However, whenever an artefact serves to disseminate both good and bad ideas alike, it cannot be considered an absolute benefit.

For better or worse, technology intervenes in most, if not all aspects of our lives. When it comes to the link between education and technology, there are at least two important considerations to make. How can schools and teachers help students improve the outcomes of their use of technology? What are the ways in which technology can support teaching and learning more effectively? We address these and related questions in our latest Trends Shaping Education Spotlight.

The first question revolves …

Improving learning spaces by empowering school users

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By Andreas Schleicher
Director, Directorate for Education and Skills


During a trip to Finland in the middle of winter, I visited a school where all the students left their snow boots in the school lobby and walked around in their socks for the rest of the day. I had a similar experience in New Zealand, where barefoot students are a common sight in warmer months. In each case, the students clearly felt as comfortable in their schools as they would in their living rooms. While fundamental, we need to do more than just ensure the comfort and safety of students in schools. The bigger challenge is to foster an effective learning environment that supports students in building the portfolio of knowledge and skills they will need to thrive in the 21st century.

When visiting schools all over the world, I’ve witnessed many instances of students and teachers re-arranging their physical environment – both inside and outside school buildings – to suit their learning objectives and teaching practice…

What can PISA tell us about teacher policies?

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By Francesco Avvisati
Analyst, Directorate for Education and Skills

Photo credit: Jeffrey Hamilton/Unsplash
Teachers are the most important resource in today’s schools. Teacher salaries and training represent the greatest share of education spending in every country, and for good reason: students who are taught by the best teachers have much higher chances of succeeding in learning and life. It should come as no surprise, then, that policy makers across the world have focused greater attention on teaching, as they strive to improve student learning and make education more equitable and inclusive.

A new report published today aims to guide policy-makers in their quest for effective teacher policies by analysing data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and other OECD databases. Our report, Effective Teacher Policies: Insights from PISA, examines how the best-performing countries select, develop, evaluate and compensate teachers; how teacher sorting across school…

Are Norwegian universities preparing students for a changing labour market?

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By Dirk Van Damme 
Head of the Skills Beyond School Division,  Directorate for Education and Skills

Photo credit: Mikael Kristenson/Unsplash
In many countries, there are increasing concerns about the gap between the qualifications and skills that universities deliver, and those that the labour market demands. Employers are becoming especially vocal about this, claiming that they cannot find graduates with the skills sets they need. And as globalisation and digitalisation continue to transform economies, we can expect to see profound changes in the skills that employers demand in the future. In other words, the skills shortages of today might not be the same as those of tomorrow.

Ensuring that the supply of skills more or less matches demand – both today and tomorrow – is no easy undertaking. Higher education has the very difficult task of equipping students with generic and domain-specific knowledge and skills that last for a lifetime. This is almost impossible. Simplistic answers will …