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Showing posts from January, 2018

Shaping, not predicting, the future of students

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by Anthony Mann
Senior Analyst, Directorate for Education and Skills




Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is reputed to have once said that there’s no point making predictions because nothing is set in stone. It is hard to predict the future, but in education policy at least it is not altogether impossible.

We know, for example, from data accumulated over many years that people who exhibited certain attributes when young are more likely (sometimes very much more likely) to do better in work as adults. They are much more likely to find work after leaving school or university and to earn more than people who are otherwise just like them.

Studies have shown, for example, that youngsters can expect to do better in work as adults if they read well at 10 or gain higher levels of qualifications.  We know as well, not least from recent OECD studies, that the children of wealthier parents routinely do better than their classmates from poorer backgrounds, even if they show the same academic promise as c…

Succeeding with resilience – Lessons for schools

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by Johanna Boersch-Supan
Director, Vodafone Germany Foundation – think tank 

Digitisation is expected to profoundly change the way we learn and work – at a faster pace than previous major drivers of transformation. Many children entering school today are likely to end up working in jobs that do not yet exist. Preparing students for these unchartered territories means that we not only have to make sure that they have the right technical capabilities but that we have to strengthen their emotional and social skills. Resilience, the individual capacity to overcome adverse circumstances and use them as sources for personal development, lies at the core of being able to successfully adapt to change and thus actively engage with our digital world.
A special PISA analysis conducted by the OECD in collaboration with the Vodafone Germany Foundation shows that several countries were able to increase the share of academically resilient students with disadvantaged backgrounds over the last decade.*…

Learning for careers: The career pathways movement in the United States

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by Nancy Hoffman, Senior Advisor, Jobs for the Future
Bob Schwartz, Senior Research Fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Education



Over the last generation, it has become clear that something has gone awry in how the United States prepares its young people for life. In spite of millions of young people pursuing university education, fewer than one in three young Americans successfully attain a bachelor’s degree, while millions of good middle-skills jobs go begging because of our failure to build programs to equip young people with the skills and credentials to fill them. In a climate of “university for all” only 20% of young Americans enrol in career and technical education programs, the US version of Vocational Education and Training. This struck us as both a problem and an opportunity crying out for a public policy response.

So when the opportunity arose to come to the OECD for three months in 2010 to participate in the last phase of the landmark Learning for Jobs study, we took leave …

How to prepare students for the complexity of a global society

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by Anthony Jackson, Director, Center for Global Education at Asia Society
Andreas Schleicher, Director, Directorate for Education and Skills



In all countries, rapidly changing global economic, digital, cultural, and environmental forces are shaping young people’s lives and their futures. From Boston to Bangkok to Buenos Aires, we live today in a VUCA world: volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.

The world’s growing complexity and diversity present both opportunity and challenge. On the one hand, globalization can bring important new perspectives, innovation, and improved living standards. But on the other, it can also contribute to economic inequality, social division, and conflict.

How well education systems prepare all of their students to thrive amid today’s rapidly changing world will determine the future prosperity and security of their nations – and of the world as a whole. Global competence education is what will empower students to do just that. Globally competent student…

Drawing the future: What children want to be when they grow up

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by Andreas Schleicher
Director, Directorate for Education and Skills


The next generation of children will need to create jobs, not just seek jobs. They will draw on their curiosity, imagination, entrepreneurship and resilience, the joy of failing forward. Their schools will help them discover their passions and aspirations, develop their potential, and find their place in society.

But that is easier said than done, and good reading, math and science skills are just part of the answer. To develop their dreams and invest the effort it takes to realise them, children need, first of all, to be aware of the world and the opportunities it offers them.

We often take that awareness for granted, perhaps because schools tend to be designed and run by people who succeeded in them. But this report paints a different picture. Statistics showed previously that more than one in five teenagers are looking to secure the 2.4% of new and replacement jobs in the UK economy that are predicted to be found i…

What does teaching look like? A new video study

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by Anna Pons
Analyst, Directorate for Education and Skills


Looking – literally – at how teachers around the world teach can be a game changer to improve education. The evidence is clear that teachers are what makes the greatest difference to learning, outside students’ own backgrounds. It is widely recognised that the quality of an education system is only as good as the quality of its teachers. Yet we know relatively little about what makes a good and effective teacher.

Our new research project, the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) Video Study, aims to help us learn more about how our teachers teach. The study aims to provide a better understanding of which teaching practices are used, how they are interrelated, and which are most strongly associated with students’ cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes.

The TALIS Video Study is based on a truly innovative research design. It uses videos to capture what goes on in the classroom, and also surveys teachers and students, …