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Showing posts from November, 2016

To contain the cost of education, should countries only consider teachers’ salaries?

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





High-performing education systems value teachers and invest a lot in them. And indeed, the human factor is crucial in creating effective and high-quality teaching and learning environments. On average across OECD countries, the compensation of staff involved in education counted for 77% of total expenditure on secondary education in 2013 (Indicator B6 of Education at a Glance 2016). In monetary terms, the annual salary cost of teachers per student at the lower secondary level reached USD 3 389, on average across OECD countries in 2014, but this amount ranged from USD 1 000 in Mexico to USD 5 379 in Austria. However, we also know that it is not the amount of money invested that counts, but the way it is used. PISA reveals that, above a certain threshold, more money invested in education does not necessarily lead to better outcomes. Countries that may spend the same per student o…

Skills are the key to unlocking prosperity in Peru

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by Andreas Schleicher
Director, Directorate for Education and Skills


Skills are central to the future prosperity and well-being of Peru’s people

Peru has been one of the strongest economic performers in Latin America with steady GDP per capita growth over the past decade, which has been accompanied by a sharp decline in poverty rates and a significant rise in educational attainment.This impressive track record can only be if supported by a process of economic diversification, in which skills and human capital must play a central role.

Peru’s goal for the future is to diversify the economy and tackle informality, boost productivity in firms and expand export capacity, while raising its capacity to innovate and take part in global value chains with more complex goods and services. All of which will require a stronger skills base. Achieving better and more equitable skills outcomes will also contribute to building a healthier, more equitable, and more cohesive society.

Now is the time for Per…

New insights on teaching strategies

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by Pablo Fraser
Analyst, Directorate for Education and Skills



Education’s purpose is to prepare children for a fast-moving, ever-changing world. Teaching faces the additional challenge of classrooms becoming increasingly more culturally diverse. Now, more than ever, this requires an adaptation of current teaching strategies.

The recent OECD working paper Teaching strategies for instructional quality: Insights from the TALIS-PISA Link data seeks to be a contribution to this debate, by providing information about the teachings strategies used by mathematics teachers in eight countries.

What is the TALIS-PISA link database?

In TALIS 2013, participating countries and economies had the option of applying TALIS questionnaires to a PISA 2012 subsample with the purpose of linking data on schools, teachers and students. We call this option the "TALIS-PISA Link" database. The TALIS-PISA Link provides us with valuable information about teaching strategies and their relationship with the…

A peek at PISA

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by Marilyn Achiron
Editor, Directorate for Education and Skills


Sorry, we can’t divulge the results (those will be announced on 6 December); but now that we have your attention, we thought you might like to learn a little more about the test, itself, so that when the results are finally announced, you’ll have a better idea of what those results mean.

PISA 2015 focused on science, with the understanding that, although not every student is interested in becoming a scientist, all of us now need to be able to “think like a scientist” sometimes – to be able to weigh evidence and come to a conclusion, and to understand that scientific “truth” may change over time, as new discoveries are made. This month’s PISA in Focus walks you through a typical question in the PISA science test and explains what it can show about students’ proficiency in science. Each question is designed to reveal a certain skill or set of skills. In PISA 2015, these skills included explaining phenomena scientifically (base…