Showing posts from December, 2018

Year in review: a look back at our most popular posts of 2018

By Amar Toor
Communications and Digital Officer, Directorate for Education and Skills

It's been another productive year here at the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills, and we're gearing up for an even busier 2019. Next year, we'll release new data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) and the annual Education at a Glance publication, in addition to our steady stream of working papers and policy briefs.

We'll cover all the latest news here on Education and Skills Today, with insights from OECD analysts and experts from across the world of education. But before we look too far ahead, here's a look back on some of our most popular posts from 2018.

"How Japan’s Kosen schools are creating a new generation of innovators" In our most popular post of the year, OECD Education and Skills Director Andreas Schleicher describes his visit to a truly unique school in Japan:

“At Kosen s…

For immigrant adults, a higher education does not always lead to equal employment opportunities

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

In our inter-connected and digitalised world, more people are looking abroad in search of better jobs and opportunities. At the same time, conflict and poverty have forced millions of adults and children to leave their country in pursuit of a better future elsewhere. While many may find better conditions than in the country they left behind, fitting into the workforce can be tough.

An immigrant’s ability to integrate and contribute to their host community depends on their skills and education, and where they ultimately land. Some countries have welcomed migrants and refugees of all backgrounds; others have implemented policies to attract only those with highly demanded skills. However, as we analyse in this month’s Education Indicators in Focus, a better education does not always translate into better employment opportunities for foreign-born adults.

In our brief, we examine the effect of education on empl…

It's time to change the way we think about new teachers

By Alejandro Paniagua
Consultant, Directorate for Education and Skills

Most teachers across the world say they're satisfied with their jobs. But the picture is more complex for new teachers, whose workplace experiences are often described, in the research, with terms like “disillusionment”, “reality shock” and “survival”. Such portrayals are not inaccurate; teaching is a complex and often uncertain profession – especially during the first years – and there is no clear methodology for success. Many teachers also spend much of their early careers cycling through temporary positions at often challenging schools, making it difficult for them to grow into the profession.

To ease the transition into teaching, most initial teacher preparation programmes are trying to implement induction initiatives. In diverse ways, robust induction programmes can effectively address some of the problems associated with the initial years of teaching. But in focusing exclusively on new teachers, and framin…

What is the relationship between literacy and single-parent families?

By Nicolas Jonas
Analyst, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Single parenthood is an increasingly common phenomenon across many OECD countries, and one that affects primarily (though not exclusively) women. It can also have an impact on learning, as single parents face unique challenges. The pressure of balancing work and family can limit a single parent’s professional development, the well-being of their household and the development of their children. But little is known about how a single parent’s literacy proficiency and cognitive ability are related to children’s education results.

In a new working paper, we analyse data from the Survey of Adult Skills to examine the relationship between literacy proficiency and a range of family-related indicators – including fertility rates and family composition. This relationship has potentially important implications for social and education policy, as the family, together with schooling, is one of the most important settings in which …

Why we’re asking teachers about their work

By Pablo Fraser
Analyst, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

When we launched the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) more than 10 years ago, we began with a simple question: what can teachers tell us about their work? At the time, this was a novel approach; TALIS was the first global survey to ask teachers and school leaders about their work and learning environments. But over time, it’s become clear that a better understanding of the conditions under which teachers work (and students learn) can help countries face diverse challenges and improve policies.

Our first report, released in 2008, focused on the most important issues that teachers face in their careers, such as the importance of school leadership, professional development opportunities and the implementation of effective pedagogical practices. The 2013 TALIS conducted a more in-depth analysis of these topics, and broadened its scope to 34 countries. Now, we’re preparing to release findings from our most …

PISA for Development: lessons from Ecuador

By Josette Arévalo 
PISA-D National Project Manager and Executive Director of the Instituto Nacional de Evaluación Educativa of Ecuador
María José Guevara Duque
PISA-D Lead Analyst and Director of Educational Research at the Instituto Nacional de Evaluación Educativa of Ecuador

Education has been a priority in Ecuador for more than a decade. In 2006, Ecuador approved a 10-year educational plan by national referendum, and the 2017-2021 National Development Plan sets forth an ambitious objective related to the education sector: “To guarantee a decent life with equal opportunities for all people”. Access and equality are priorities in the education sector, but the quality of education, infrastructure and the availability of resources are concerns, as well.

In order to understand if we are making progress toward our objectives, we need comprehensive, reliable and rigorous evaluation processes. That is why Ecuador’s Ministry of Education decided to participate in the PISA for Development

Making PISA more relevant to more of the world

By Michael Ward Senior Policy Analyst, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate

In 2014, we set out to make PISA more relevant and accessible to middle-and-low-income countries. Since launching in 2000, PISA has expanded to include more than 80 participating countries, and is today seen as the global yardstick for educational success. But as more countries joined PISA, it became apparent that the nature and methods of assessment needed to cater to a larger and more diverse set of countries.  
That’s why we launched PISA for Development (PISA-D): an initiative that allows middle-and-low-income countries to use PISA assessments to monitor progress toward national and international targets. Launched with nine participating countries and several partners, PISA-D also supports institutional capacity-building, and allows countries to analyse the results to design evidence-based policies that can improve teaching and learning, and help school systems become more relevant and effective. In re…

Why we need more financing to achieve quality education for all

By Michael Ward
Senior Policy Analyst, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate
Raphaelle Martinez Lattanzio
Team Lead - Education Policy and Learning, Global Partnership for Education

Yesterday, representatives from multilateral organisations, civil society, philanthropic foundations and the private sector gathered in Brussels for the Global Education Meeting (GEM) – a conference, convened by UNESCO, that focuses on the most pressing issues facing education today.  For the first time since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG 4) in 2015, policy makers and education experts came together to take stock of the progress made towards achieving this goal, and the challenges that remain. Their discussions couldn’t come at a more critical time.

The world today is facing a learning crisis, with more than 260 million children, adolescents and youth not in school, and 617 million (six out of ten) not being able to read a simple sentence or perform basic maths. Y…