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Showing posts from August, 2015

(Learning) time is on their side

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by Marilyn Achiron
Editor, Education and Skills Directorate

Got a minute? How about 218 of them? That’s the average amount of time students in OECD countries spend in mathematics class each week (although to some, it feels like an eternity). Spare a thought, though, for students in Chile: they spend about twice that amount of time (400 minutes, or 6 hours and 40 minutes) each week in maths class. But who’s counting?

Actually, PISA is. PISA 2012 asked students to report how much time they spend in their mathematics, reading and science classes – the three core subjects PISA assesses. PISA wanted to find out whether students are spending more or less time in class than their counterparts did a decade ago, and whether there is any relationship to the amount of time spent in class and student performance.

As this month’s PISA in Focus reports, across OECD countries, 15-year-old students spent an average of 13 minutes more per week in mathematics classes in 2012 than they did in 2003. PISA …

Denmark: Still worth getting to

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by Craig Willy
Freelance Journalist, SGI News

An open, liberal economy combined with redistribution and social welfare: The Danish model has largely weathered the storm of the financial and euro crises. Yet, when looking at education and integration, not all is rosy in the Kingdom of Denmark.

Denmark has long been a byword for good government, liberal democracy, and social equity of the highest levels in the world. The little Nordic country’s success has been such that the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama – of “end of history” fame – has said that the goal of politics is “getting to Denmark.” In this, the Denmark report of the recently published Bertelsmann Stifung’s Sustainable Governance Indicators (SGI) notes that: “Trust between different actors and societal groups, often referred to as ‘social capital,’ has also been an important factor.” Indeed, the country is famously free of corruption, Transparency International rating Denmark the least corrupt country in the worl…

What are the risks of missing out on upper secondary education?

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



In just a couple of decades, upper secondary schooling has been transformed from a vehicle towards upward social mobility into a minimum requirement for life in modern societies.

The most recent OECD data on educational attainment show that in OECD countries in 2013, 34% of 55-64 year-olds but 16% of 25-34 year-olds did not have an upper secondary education. In other words, over 30 years the share of low-educated adults has been cut in half. But progress is slowing. While education systems continue to expand tertiary education, many countries are struggling to further reduce the share of young people without upper secondary education. Some young people seem to have lost faith in the capacity of school to improve their lives; others become demotivated by the perceived lack of relevance of what they learn in schools. But these students are almost certainly underestimating the ri…

What do youth think?

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Interview with Allan Päll Secretary General of the European Youth Forumby Marilyn Achiron, Editor, Education and Skills Directorate

This is a tough time for young people, especially in Europe. Youth un- and underemployment is still at record highs in some countries; and as the OECD Skills Outlook 2015 reports, more than 35 million 16-29 year-olds in OECD countries are neither employed nor in education or training. More worrying still, around half of those young adults are out of school and not looking for work. What can be done to change these terrible statistics, to prevent more waste of human potential? We spoke with Allan Päll, Secretary General of the European Youth Forum, when he was in Paris to participate in the OECD Forum in June.

Marilyn Achiron: Older adults dictate to young people all the time. What do young people feel is missing from education that could make the transition from school to the labour market easier?

Allan Päll: Young people want to have options and choices tha…