Economist – om Pisa

Bättre resultat i Pisa undersökningar som Estland, Singarpore och andra länder uppvisar är en utmaning. För att uppnå den höjden är ett måste. Och vägen ditt är brant uppförsbacke.

”PISA teaches what does not work. Spending more money, for example, is associated with higher scores, but only in poorer countries. Among those that already spend more than $50,000 per pupil throughout their time in school, money alone brings no improvement. Private schools are no exception, at least when it comes to PISA.” – skiver Economist.

Här är några observationer som presenteras:

”The exercise also tells you what does work, and its most important insight is that what matters most is what happens in the classroom. The successful children are those who are exposed to good teaching more often. Having pupils turn up is a start. In poor countries this often means expanding access for girls. In richer countries it means cutting dropout rates and truancy; Italian pupils do poorly partly because more than half of them skip school at least once a fortnight. Having teachers turn up also helps. One reason why Buenos Aires saw the biggest rise in PISA scores of any area is because the city curbed teachers’ strikes by offering them a deal: it would treat teachers as professionals if they behaved as such. The city improved training and pay. Teachers agreed that merit, not their unions, would determine promotion. Improving the quality of teaching is harder. Who becomes a teacher makes a difference. Australia’s decline in PISA coincides with a fall in the exam results of teacher-training applicants. And what teachers learn about the job is at least as important. Evidence-based methods of instruction, practice, coaching from experienced teachers and feedback are all part of making good teachers.”

Efterfrågan på bra lärare, bra programmerare, duktiga entreprenörer och andra spetskompetenser på topp. Med en befolkning på 10 miljoner och med den gausiska fördelningen av högpresterande blir allt mer viktigt att förskjuta kurvan åt rätt håll. Därför är det viktigt att skapa bästa förutsättningar för alla elever i skolan och att ta vara på begåvningar. Det är inte bara i idrott vi behöver talang och coachning.

Om skolsystemet i Singapore:

So what is Singapore doing right, and do other countries want to emulate it?

Clearly there are things to learn. Singapore has invested heavily in its education system. Its teachers are the best and brightest, and it has developed highly successful pedagogic approaches to science, maths, engineering and technology (STEM) teaching, such as the “Maths Mastery” approach.

Culturally, Singaporeans have a strong commitment to educational achievement and there is a national focus on educational excellence.

Success in PISA rankings and other global league tables are an important part of the Singapore “brand”. Singaporean academic Christopher Gee calls this the “educational arms race”. Highly competitive schooling is the norm.

Role of private tuition

Public discussion in Australia around why we are not doing as well as the Singaporeans is largely focused on what goes on in that country’s schools.

Yet there is one thing missing from the reporting on Singapore’s success: the role of private tuition (private tutors and coaching colleges) and the part it plays in the overall success of students in the tiny city-state. Here are some startling figures:

60% of high school, and 80% of primary school age students receive private tuition.

40% of pre-schoolers receive private tuition.

Pre-schoolers, on average, attend two hours private tuition per week, while primary school aged children are attending, on average, at least three hours per week.