Showing posts from March, 2017

Have emerging Latin American countries chosen quantity over quality in education?

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

Developing human capital is an integral part of economic growth and social progress. Mature, developed economies in Europe, North America and Australasia expanded their education and skills systems mainly after the Second World War in a context of unbridled economic prosperity and the modernisation of their social and political institutions. The conditions were favourable for increasing the share of tertiary-educated workers, ensuring that upper secondary education gradually became the minimum level of educational achievement for large parts of the population, and for reducing the numbers of people without an upper secondary education. These countries also benefitted from the luxury of time. It took OECD countries 30 years, on average, to halve the share of people without an upper secondary education – from 32% among current 55-64 year-olds to 16% among 25-34 year-olds.


Empowering teachers to improve equity and inspire learning

by Andreas Schleicher 
Director, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Fáilte! Welcome to the International Summit on the Teaching Profession 

The expectations for teachers are high and rising each day. We expect teachers to have a deep understanding of what they teach and to keep up with the rapidly expanding knowledge base; to be passionate, compassionate and thoughtful; to make learning central and encourage students’ engagement and responsibility; to respond effectively to students of different needs, backgrounds and mother tongues, and to promote tolerance and social cohesion; to provide continual assessments of students and feedback; and to ensure that students feel valued and included and that learning is collaborative. We also expect teachers themselves to collaborate and work in teams, and with other schools and parents, to set common goals, and plan and monitor the attainment of goals collaboratively. And there is more to this: Successful learners generally had a teacher w…

How inequalities in acquiring skills evolve

by Francesca Borgonovi
Senior Analyst, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Since 2000, the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has been a key source of information on how well societies and education systems have equipped 15-year-old students with the knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in modern societies. However important this information is, most 15-year-old students can expect to stay in education or training for at least another three to four years after they are eligible to sit the PISA test; those who go on to complete higher degrees are looking at around another ten years of study. The tendency to devote more and more years to the development of skills through formal schooling, further education and training implies that the effectiveness of education and training systems should not be judged solely on how well 15-year-old students have mastered certain skills.

PISA data reveal large disparities in achievement not only acr…

Finding and cultivating talented teachers: Insights from high-performing countries

by Esther Carvalhaes
Analyst, Directorate for Education and Skills 

Teachers are the backbone of any education system. After all, without qualified teachers, how can governments and schools secure each child’s right to quality education and build a society of educated citizens, capable of shaping their own future?  But selecting the right candidates to the profession – aspiring teachers who hold the promise of becoming great teachers – can often feel like an elusive task. The complications start with the very definition of what a good teacher is.

In a rapidly changing world, having a strong knowledge base in their subject area, good classroom management skills and a commitment to helping students learn may no longer be enough to meet the expanding role of teachers. Nowadays, teachers are expected to teach diverse groups of students, adapt to new technologies and curricular changes, and be attuned to the skills, values and attitudes that their students will need in the near future. The …

Why do so many women want to become teachers?

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

It is well known that the share of women in the teaching force is growing. According to the latest Education Indicators in Focus brief, the average share of female teachers across OECD countries increased from 61% in 2005 to 65% in 2010 and to 68% in 2014, in all education levels combined. Around 82% of primary school teachers and 63% of secondary school teachers are women. Some policy makers see this trend as a cause for concern, citing, among other things, that the lack of male teachers and role models might play a role in the decline of learning outcomes among young boys. But it seems fair to say that few people would be concerned about a similarly skewed gender imbalance in other professions if it benefited men.

The statistics on the age distribution of male and female teachers show that the gender imbalance in the teaching profession will increase even more in the years …