Showing posts from June, 2014

What can we learn from our teachers?

by Kristen Weatherby
Senior Analyst, Directorate for Education and Skills

The latest results from the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) are made public today at various events in countries around the world. TALIS 2013 surveyed 107,000 lower secondary school teachers in 34 countries.  Everyone from education ministers – who are gathered at an event in Tokyo – to teachers – like those at a TALIS conference in Madrid – want to learn from the data collected in the survey in order to improve the teaching and learning in their schools.
So what are teachers telling us? First of all, teachers love being teachers. On average across TALIS-participating countries, 9 in 10 teachers report being satisfied with their jobs, and nearly 8 in 10 (78%) report that they would still choose to become a teacher if they had to make the choice again.

Given this finding, it is perhaps surprising that, on average, more than two out of three teachers across TALIS countries do not feel that…

The urban paradox

by Tracey Burns
Analyst and Project Leader, Directorate for Education and Skills

Our world is becoming more and more urban. Today, more than half of the world’s population live in cities, and this proportion will continue to grow. On average across the OECD, over 85% of the population will be living in cities by 2050.

The growth of cities is driven by hopes and dreams for a better life: large urban environments provide more educational and career opportunities, better access to high quality health and emergency services, and as well as a number of other positives. Yet urban areas are confronted with a paradox: they concentrate wealth and employment opportunities, but they can also host high levels of poverty and labour-market exclusion.  In addition, the agglomeration of workers and firms is often accompanied by negatives such as more tenuous social networks and disconnection from family and community, which can engender social alienation and violence.

Schools increasingly provide a se…

The socio-economic divide in pre-primary education

by Marilyn Achiron
Editor, Directorate for Education and Skills

The metaphor “levelling the playing field” crops up a lot in discussions about pre-primary education.

As well it should: attendance in those programmes has been shown to improve education outcomes later on. But as this month’s PISA in Focus shows, not even a steamroller can level the playing field of formal education if disadvantaged students are sidelined from the beginning.

PISA consistently finds that 15-year-old students who had attended pre-primary education tend to perform better than those who had not attended pre-primary education, even after accounting for the students’ socio-economic status. 51 points – the equivalent of substantially more than a year of formal schooling.

In 2012, the vast majority of 15-year-old students in most PISA-participating countries and economies reported that they had attended pre-primary education; and PISA data confirm that enrolment in those programmes has grown over the past decade. …

TALIS 2013 Results: A voice for teachers

by Kristen Weatherby
Senior Analyst, Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS)

Results from the most recent round of Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) are to be released at the end of this month in Japan where education ministers will gather to exchange views on how to best shape teacher policy so as to have the strongest impact on the quality of the learning environment.

Why should teachers care? 
Well, teachers are at the heart of TALIS.  Along with the release of the in-depth international report which provides analyses of cross-country data on the 25th of June, a free Teachers' Guide to TALIS will be available on our website.  This handbook will  present the main results with insights and advice to teachers and school leaders on how they can improve teaching and learning in their schools.

How can you get involved?
Join Education Fast Forward’s global live debate:  On June 25, 2014 at 1pm (BST) Andreas Schleicher, Director of the OECD Directorate for Educ…

Going for excellence: evaluation and assessment in Dutch schools

by Deborah Nusche
Policy Analyst,  Early Childhood and Schools Division, Directorate for Education

Dutch education is at a turning point. Although the Dutch education system
has made progress on many fronts and has a high standing on international assessments, there is a general appreciation that the system must continue to improve and strive for the next level.
The nature of that next level, however, has not yet been specified.
According to various groups interviewed as part of an OECD Review published today, it could mean further improving the country’s standing on international assessments, with particular focus on top performers; or enhancing general academic achievement and responding better to the learning needs of different student groups; or turning attention to “21st century skills” such as creativity, collaboration and ICT literacy.

The Dutch government has launched a general policy emphasising excellence in education. This includes a focus on providing better support to gif…