Showing posts from November, 2018

How to make school autonomy work

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

School autonomy can mean different things to different people. Policy makers see it as a way to make schools more responsive to local needs and specific contexts. For school heads and teachers, it can mean gaining greater control over the management of the school and its pedagogical direction. Parents, meanwhile, may interpret it as a way to engage more directly in a school’s  decision-making processes.

The truth is that school autonomy is all of these things, which makes it difficult to define. And although greater autonomy would seem like a benefit to parents, teachers and school leaders, it also raises important questions. What role should central authorities play in a newly decentralised system? To whom should schools be held accountable? And how can we ensure that the decisions made by school management align with national strategies? Because while greater autonomy can bring extra freedom for teachers…

What’s the best way to teach science?

By Tarek Mostafa Analyst, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills
Education experts have spent the last 50 years debating over a seemingly simple question: what’s the best way to teach science? On one side of the divide are those who support self-guided, enquiry-based approaches, under which students direct their own learning. On the other are proponents of teacher-directed instruction, who say this approach makes it easier for teachers to manage classrooms and cover a wider range of content. Complicating the debate even further is the increasing diversity of student populations, which has raised demands for science curricula to adapt to student needs through adaptive teaching approaches.

We take a closer look at each of these strategies in the latest issue of PISA in Focus. Using new evidence from PISA 2015, we found that each approach has advantages and drawbacks for learning – and that identifying the most effective strategy isn’t as clear cut a proposition as it may seem.

In almo…

How Wales is transforming its schools into learning organisations

By Marco Kools
Analyst, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

In 2011, Wales embarked on a large-scale reform to improve the quality and equity of its education system. Since then, the reform has increasingly focused on the implementation of a new, 21st-century school curriculum that calls for developing young people into “ambitious, capable and lifelong learners” who are “enterprising and creative, informed citizens, and healthy and confident individuals”. This vision also aligns with the framework being developed by our Education 2030 project.

To support the successful implementation of this curriculum, Wales has set an objective to develop its schools into learning organisations. These schools have the capacity to change and adapt to new environments and circumstances as its members learn, collectively and individually, how to implement a shared vision. Schools in Wales have already made substantial progress toward this objective, as we describe in our new report, but a consider…