December 2016

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OECD Education and Skills Newsletter
Bringing you the highlights from the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills
Spotlight on

The fourth issue of our newsletter for 2016 presents key education findings and policy directions emerging from recent OECD analysis in a single accessible free source.

PISA 2015 Results
Over the past decade, the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA, has become the world's premier yardstick for evaluating the quality, equity and efficiency of school systems. By identifying the characteristics of high-performing education systems, PISA allows governments and educators to identify effective policies that they can then adapt to their local contexts. The latest PISA assessment in 2015 focused on science. From taking a painkiller to determining what is a "balanced" meal, from drinking pasteurised milk to deciding whether or not to buy a hybrid car, science is ubiquitous in our lives. And science is not just test tubes and the periodic table; it is the basis of nearly every tool we use – from a simple can opener to the most advanced space explorer. More important, science is not only the domain of scientists. In the context of massive information flows and rapid change, everyone now needs to be able to "think like a scientist": to be able to weigh evidence and come to a conclusion; to understand that scientific "truth" may change over time, as new discoveries are made, and as humans develop a greater understanding of natural forces and of technology's capacities and limitations. PISA shows that every country has room for improvement, even the top performers. With high levels of youth unemployment, rising inequality, a significant gender gap, and an urgent need to boost inclusive growth in many countries, we have no time to lose in providing the best education possible for all students.

News roundup

Ten Questions for Mathematics Teachers… and How PISA Can Help Answer Them
This report provides teachers with timely and relevant data and analyses that can help them reflect on their teaching strategies and how students learn.

PISA Online Programme for School Improvement
A PISA Online Programme for School Improvement starting in 2017 is open for registration. This collaborative learning platform will enable participants to connect, learn and interact with experts in education policy from around the world. It will also help schools develop the skills to leverage OECD's PISA data to improve practice in their respective school environment.

PISA for Development
A report on Making Education Count for Development suggests technically sound and viable options for improving data quality, completeness and international comparability from six countries participating in the PISA for Development project: Cambodia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Senegal and Zambia. It also provides insights into overcoming some of the challenges common to countries that participate in PISA for Development, including other middle income and low income countries.

Education in China: A Snapshot
What do we know about the largest education system in the world? A system that is educating 260 million young people, and that employs 15 million teachers? This report provides a broad overview of how China's education system is organised and operates, and how reforms, both past and current, have reshaped education in China over time.The report then examines in greater detail education in the four economies within China that participated in PISA 2015. It provides the context in which China's participation in PISA – and its results in PISA – should be interpreted.

Teaching Strategies for Instructional Quality
This brochure on the TALIS-PISA Link provides valuable information about teaching strategies and their relationship with the characteristics of the school, the classroom and students' outcomes. A better understanding of these relationships can help teachers, schools and education policy makers to design more effective policies with the aim of improving the learning achievements of all students.

The Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC)
The proceedings from the 2nd International PIAAC Conference, held in November 2015 in Haarlem, the Netherlands have been published. The three papers collected in this volume represent an important contribution to the better understanding of issues of labour market and education policy that are at the centre of the policy concerns of many governments.

A Skills Beyond School Review
A Skills Beyond School Review of Peru recognises that vocational education and training (VET) is crucial to developing a highly-skilled labour force. The new Review offers ample evidence that existing programmes and institutions are falling short of meeting the country's needs. It recommends helping better steer VET institutions toward high-quality offerings, facilitating student transitions along education and career pathways, empowering students, and broadening access to groups that are currently unable to participate because of financial or other constraints.

OECD Skills Strategy Diagnostic Report: Peru
The OECD Skills Strategy Diagnostic Report of Peru identifies the 9 skills challenges for Peru distilled from bilateral meetings and interactive diagnostic workshops held with a range of stakeholders and institutions. It draws upon an array of relevant OECD evidence, including general lessons from the Survey of Adult Skills, to shed further light on these challenges, and offers some concrete examples of how other countries are tackling similar skills challenges.

The Future of Education and Skills: Education 2030
Policy makers, experts, school networks and social partners gathered in Beijing, China, from 9-11 November 2016 to discuss the OECD's new conceptual learning framework "Learning Compass 2030." Currently, 19 countries are taking part in the policy analysis on curriculum, with an aim to facilitate peer-learning as well as to build a knowledge base and develop tools for countries to draw on when re-designing their curriculum.

Early Childhood Education and Care
Monitoring Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care country notes have been published for Finland, France, Germany, Korea and the Netherlands, as well as Data country notes for Australia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

Education Policy Outlook: Korea
This policy profile on education in Korea provides insights on topics such as high quality and performing students; skills mismatch and strong emphasis on academic stream; and improving learning environments for teachers and students.

OECD Reviews of School Resources
The latest reviews in the series on Denmark and Uruguay were published in November 2016. They include policy recommendations on using school resources more efficiently to improve learning outcomes.

The Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship
The Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship Fall 2016 Call for Proposals is currently open until 4 January 2017 at midnight Paris time. The Fellowship seeks to strengthen capacity for producing policy relevant research with a focus on emerging countries and in the area of equity and inclusion.

Just Published
PISA 2015 Results (Volume I): Excellence and Equity in Education
Volume I, Excellence and Equity in Education, summarises student performance in science, reading and mathematics, and defines and measures equity in education.
PISA 2015 Results (Volume II): Policies and Practices for Successful Schools
Volume II, Policies and Practices for Successful Schools, examines how student performance is associated with various characteristics of individual schools and school systems.
Policy Papers

PISA in Focus
• How does PISA assess science literacy?

Education Indicators in Focus
• What influences spending on education?
• Fields of education, gender and the labour market

Adult Skills in Focus
• What is the relationship between education, literacy and self-reported health?

Get your country's results for PISA 2015

Global perspectives on Education

What can maths teachers learn from PISA? By Andreas Schleicher, Director, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Empowering teachers with high-quality professional development, by Fabian Barrera-Pedemonte, UCL Institute of Education and Thomas J. Alexander Fellow

Do men's and women's choices of field of study explain why women earn less than men? By Dirk Van Damme, Head of the Innovation and Measuring Progress Division, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Top tweets @OECDEduSkills
How does big data impact #education? Read via @QoL_Observer - click here
Learning is the work of the future> @SchleicherOECD @GoogleForEdu - click here
Poor edu performance: The challenge for #teachers & nations @SchleicherOECD @teacherACER - click here
Schools are finally teaching what kids need to be successful in life, with @SchleicherOECD #SEL #skills - click here

How does PISA help shape education reform?
Working Papers

• Measurement Properties of Non-cognitive scales in the Polish Follow-up Study on PIAAC (POSTPIAAC), by Marta Palczyńska and Karolina Świst

• Work-based Learning for Youth at Risk: Getting Employers on Board, by Victoria Kís

• Teaching Strategies for Instructional Quality: Insights from the TALIS-PISA Link Data, by Noémie Le Donné, Pablo Fraser and Guillaume Bousquet

• Regulating Publicly Funded Private Schools: A Literature Review on Equity and Effectiveness, by Luka Boeskens

• Education, Labour Market Experience and Cognitive Skills: A First Approximation to the PIAAC Results, by Juan Francisco Jimeno, Aitor Lacuesta, Marta Martinez-Matute and Ernesto Villanueva

• Ageing and Literacy Skills: Evidence from IALS, ALL and PIAAC, by Garry Barrett and W. Craig Riddell

• "Graduate Jobs" in OECD countries: Analysis Using A New Indicator Based on High Skills use, by Golo Henseke and Francis Green

• The Cost and Benefits of Work-based Learning, by Samuel Mühlemann

• Literacy and Numeracy Proficiency in IALS, ALL and PIAAC, by Marco Paccagnella

• Higher-Quality Teacher Professional Development and Classroom Teaching Practices: Evidence from TALIS 2013, by Fabian Barrera-Pedemonte

• A Framework for the Analysis of Student Well-Being in the PISA 2015 Study: Being 15 In 2015, by Francesca Borgonovi and Judit Pál


23 January 2017, London, UK
Education Fast Forward Debate (EFF 18) Preparing students to succeed in the fourth industrial revolution: Implications for science education

29-31 March 2017, Edinburgh, Scotland
7th International Summit on the Teaching Profession

24 April 2017
Launch of the PISA 2015 Results on Students' Well-Being

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