There is no real consensus on how much class time is enough when it comes to learning mathematics, science and reading. But educators and policy makers generally agree that while it’s important for students to spend considerable time in school lessons to acquire new skills, spending more hours and minutes in class is not enough to ensure that students succeed in school.
The share of students with an immigrant background increased between 2003 and 2012, both in traditional and new destination countries. The performance difference in mathematics between immigrant and non-immigrant students decreased, on average, between 2003 and 2012.
In 2012, in more than one-third of OECD countries, over half of all upper secondary students participated in pre-vocational or vocational programmes but less than 30% of those students were exposed to work-based learning. Countries with well-established and high-quality vocational and apprenticeship programmes have improved youth employment opportunities.
The quantity and quality of resources available to schools improved significantly between 2003 and 2012, on average across OECD countries.
Educational opportunities have a very important impact on a person’s life. Employment, earnings, well-being, health and trust are all strongly related to education and skills. A lack of high-quality educational opportunities is the most important way in which poverty, social inequality and exclusion are transmitted from one generation to another.
In many countries, less experienced teachers (those with less than five years’ teaching experience) are more likely to work in challenging schools and less likely to report confidence in their teaching abilities than more experienced teachers.
When choosing a school for their child, parents in all participating countries value academic achievement highly; but they are often even more concerned about the safety and environment of the school and the school’s reputation.
Children spend about a third of their waking hours in school during most weeks in the year. Thus, schools have a significant impact on children’s quality of life – including their relationships with peers and adults, and their dispositions towards learning and life more generally.
Teachers report participating in more non-school than school embedded professional development (i.e. professional development that is grounded in teachers daily professional practices). Participation in non-school and school embedded professional development varies greatly between countries.
Greater anxiety towards mathematics is associated with lower scores in mathematics, both between and within countries. The better a student’s schoolmates perform in mathematics, the greater the student’s anxiety towards mathematics.