Successes and failures in the classroom will increasingly shape the fortunes of countries. And yet, more of the same education will only produce more of the same strengths and weaknesses.
Taken as a whole, the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) present a mixed picture for Korea and Singapore. As their economies have grown, these two countries’ education systems have seen fast and impressive improvements; both now rank among PISA’s top performers.
Higher education is one of the most globally integrated systems of the modern world. There still are important barriers to the international recognition of degrees or the transfer of credits, but some of the basic features of higher education enjoy global convergence and collaboration.
Skills have become the currency of 21st century economies and, despite the significant increase the UK has seen in university graduation over the last decade, the earnings of workers with a Master’s degree remain over 80% higher than those of workers with just five good GCSEs or an equivalent vocational qualification.
Teaching is a demanding profession. Teachers are responsible for developing the skills and knowledge of their students, helping them overcome social and emotional hurdles and maintaining equitable, cohesive and productive classroom environments. On top of their teaching responsibilities, they are also expected to engage in continued professional development activities throughout their careers.
Late next month (21 November, to be exact) we’ll be releasing the results PISA’s first-ever assessment of students’ ability to solve problems collaboratively. Why has PISA focused on this particular set of skills? Because in today’s increasingly interconnected world, people are often required to collaborate in order to achieve their objectives, both in the workplace and in their personal lives.
Gender biases can be persistent. Too persistent. A simple exercise to illustrate the point: Picture a doctor or a professor. You will most likely think of a man. Now think of nurses and teachers and you are likely to imagine a woman. This unconscious gender bias is rooted in years of associating male and female attributes to specific roles in society. Inevitably, it also influences students’ career choices.
Anyone flying into Abu Dhabi or Dubai is amazed how the United Arab Emirates has been able to transform its oil and gas into shiny buildings and a bustling economy. But more recently, the country is discovering that far greater wealth than all the oil and gas together lies hidden among its people.
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Diversity in the classroom includes differences in the way students’ brains learn, or neurodiversity. Neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (asd) and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (adhd) affect increasingly large numbers of students.
Diversity in the classroom includes differences in the way students brains learn, or neurodiversity. Diagnoses of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) have risen dramatically in the last two decades.