Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dialogue with the UK Dept. for Education - 1

The other day the UK Department for Education kindly gave a replay in return for informing the Schools Improvement Net guest post on January 14, and I had an opportunity to exchange views.
The spokesman of the Department wrote:
Thank you for your email which we received on the 15 January 2014 about East Asian schools and shadow education.
I would just like to thank you for bringing the Asian Development Bank research, and your schools improvement article, to our attention.
We are aware that private tutoring outside of school takes place in all around the world, the scale of which is larger in East Asia than in other countries and we do take this into account when interpreting international comparisons.

According to the OECD; “The evidence of the benefits and drawbacks of ‘juku’ is mixed. Much criticism focuses on the possible inefficiencies of such supplemental education and the potential for ‘juku’ to perpetuate socio-economic inequities.” – page 74 on the following document: http://www.oecd.org/edu/school/programmeforinternationalstudentassessmentpisa/49802616.pdf
Despite this, as you correctly state, we feel that there is still much we can learn from the Far East and other high performers.Different things work in different countries for different reasons. However, analysis of pupil and country performance alongside contextual information spotlights the following universal messages for high-performers: 
  •  Nurturing top performance and tackling low performance – this does not need to be mutually exclusive and when this is achieved, it results in top-performing systems.
  • Strong core academic subjects – pupils educated in systems where the core academic subjects remain compulsory post-16 achieve better results at age 15. Additionally, performance gaps have reduced and overall performance increased in countries that have refocused their curricula on the core academic subjects, such as Poland and Germany.
  • Autonomy and accountability – where pupils attend schools with more autonomy over curricula and assessments, they perform best when they are part of school systems with effective accountability frameworks.
  • Teacher quality – systems which recruit from the top graduates and have improved the quality of their teaching staff, like Japan, Poland and Estonia all reap the benefits for their pupils.
These are the kind of things we are interested in exploring and researching in the international community. To further this, we want to understand the real situation in Shanghai-China.
We have now sent two groups of our best head teachers, teachers and subject leaders to Shanghai on study visits to explore the education of children. These teachers talked to head teachers, teachers and the pupils themselves to discover what they learn and how they learn. Professional development of teachers and administration of schools was also closely looked at to determine certain messages, ideas and improvements for the UK.
The second of teachers have only recently returned. However, you can read a summary of the first group’s initial thoughts, on return from Shanghai, here: http://www.education.gov.uk/nationalcollege/docinfo?id=178400&filename=report-on-research-into-maths-and-science-teaching-in-the-shanghai-region.pdf (Initial Report)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright of all the comments here belong to the blog master.