The governance of complex, decentralised, multi-level education systems poses two fundamental questions for both policy- and research discussions: What are innovative contemporary governance strategies for the central level in education systems? How can these approaches be described and analysed to identify commonalities that might help to understand how and if they work? In addressing these questions, this paper’s aim is twofold: first, to inform the policy-discussion by presenting empirical examples of new governance mechanisms that central governments use to steer systems across their levels; and second, to contribute to the conceptual discussion of how to categorise and analyse the evolution of new governance structures. To do so, the paper starts with identifying core features of multi-level governance and the respective conceptual gaps it produces. It then introduces a simple analytical categorisation of modes of governance. An analysis of three
empirical cases (an institutionalised exchange between governance levels in Norway, a capacity building programme in Germany, and the Open Method of Coordination within the European Union) then shows how various education systems address these gaps and design the role of the central level in complex decision-making structures. A comparison of the three cases identifies – despite the heterogeneity of the cases – several communalities, such as multi-staged policy processes,
transparency and publicity, and soft sanctions. The paper concludes that the Open Method of Coordination, even though often criticised for its inefficiencies, might serve as a promising template for national approaches to soft governance in education. Further research on OECD education systems is needed to gather more empirical examples; these may help to get a better
understanding of what is needed for successful steering from the central level in decentralised contexts.
Mental ill-health can lead to poor work performance, high sickness absence and reduced labour market participation, resulting in considerable costs for society. Improving labour market participation of people with mental health problems requires well-integrated policies and services across the education, employment, health and social sectors. This paper provides examples of policy initiatives from 10 OECD countries for integrated services. Outcomes and strengths and weaknesses of the policy initiatives are presented, resulting in the following main conclusions for future integrated mental health and
work policies and services.
IQ tests and achievement tests do not capture non-cognitive skills — personality traits, goals, character and motivations that are valued in the labour market, in school and elsewhere. For many outcomes, their predictive power rivals or exceeds that of cognitive skills. Skills are stable across situations with different incentives. Skills are not immutable over the life cycle. While they have a genetic basis they are also shaped by environments, including families, schools and peers. Skill development is a dynamic process. The early years are important in shaping all skills and in laying the foundations for successful investment and intervention in the later years. During the early years, both cognitive and non-cognitive skills are highly malleable. During the adolescent years, non-cognitive skills are more malleable than cognitive skills. The differential
plasticity of different skills by age has important implications for the design of effective policies.
Social and emotional skills, such as perseverance, sociability and self-esteem, help individuals face the challenges of the 21st century and benefit from the opportunities it brings. Policy makers, teachers and parents can help foster these skills by improving the learning environments in which they develop. This paper reviews international evidence, including those from Japan, to better understand the learning contexts that can be conducive to children’s social and emotional development. It sheds light on features that underlie successful learning programmes including intervention studies. Reviewed evidence suggests that there are important roles for families, schools and communities to play in enhancing children’s social and emotional skills, and that coherence across multiple learning contexts needs be ensured. While most of the evidence comes from the United States and the United Kingdom, the paper suggests that further efforts could be made in Japan in collecting and better exploiting micro-data on a range of social and emotional skills, as well as in evaluating effectiveness of nterventions designed to raise social and emotional skills.
This paper presents the findings based on case studies of the educational systems of England and of the Canadian province of Ontario, as part of a research project funded by the Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship Programme.1 This research project aims to provide inputs to policymakers and school leaders, especially in Latin America, to support teachers and schools with student behaviour issues and improve classroom and school climate. The purpose of these case studies is to investigate how
system-level policies in four main areas (initial teacher education, professional development, professional collaboration and participation among stakeholders) and other types of system-level initiatives (such as student behaviour policies) have been implemented in order to improve disciplinary climate and help teachers to deal with student behaviour issues. It also aims to
identify the conditions in which teaching and classroom practices take place, in order to understand the context of student behaviour and disciplinary climate in these educational systems.
Having the highest levels of skills in problem solving using ICT (information and communication technologies) increases chances of participating in the labour force by six percentage points compared with adults who have the lowest levels of these skills, even after accounting for various other factors, such as age, gender, level of education, literacy and numeracy proficiency, and use
of e-mail at home.
This report is an assessment of the programme “Lernen vor Ort” [LvO – “Learning Locally”] initiated by the German federal government in order to support the development of local governance structures in education. LvO ran between 2009 and 2014 in about 40 participating local governments, which were chosen in a competitive process. It aimed at promoting cooperation between local governments and civil society stakeholders, creating sustainable structures in educational monitoring, management and consulting as well as improving local capacities in knowledge management. Besides providing
important background information on the German education system and the design of the LvO programme, this study engages in five detailed case studies of the implementation of the LvO programme in different local authorities. These studies are mainly based on approximately 90 interviews with local and national experts, and stakeholders. The main findings are that LvO can be regarded as a success due to the fact that it had a lasting and probably sustainable impact in the cases studied in this report, in particular with regard to those structures that produce concrete and visible outputs, such as educational monitoring. The case studies also reveal a number of local factors that influence the relative effectiveness of the implementation of the programme. Political leadership and support from the head of the local government are crucial, in particular during critical situations during the implementation. Furthermore, the impact of the programme was particularly positive, when the process of local implementation was characterised by clear communication strategies, broad stakeholder involvement in governing bodies and the implementation of concrete goals and projects. However, relative success also depended on important background factors such as local socio-economic conditions as well as financial and administrative capacities, which could not be adressed directly by the programme’s goals. The report concludes with some general recommendations and lessons learned of relevance for other countries.
This paper exploits data from the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) to shed light on the link between measured cognitive skills (proficiency), (formal) educational attainment and labour market outcomes. After presenting descriptive statistics on the degree of dispersion in the distributions of proficiency and wages, the paper shows that the cross-country correlation between these two dimensions of inequality is very low and, if anything, negative. As a next step, the paper provides estimates of the impact of both proficiency and formal education at different parts of the distribution of earnings. Formal education is found to have a larger impact on inequality, given that returns to education are in general much higher at the top than at the bottom of the distribution. The profile of returns to proficiency, by contrary, is much flatter. This is consistent with the idea that PIAAC measures rather general skills, while at the top end of the distribution the labour market rewards specialised knowledge that is necessarily acquired through tertiary and graduate education. Finally, a decomposition exercise shows that composition effects are able to explain a very limited amount of the observed cross-country differences in wage inequality. This suggests that economic institutions, by shaping the way personal characteristics are rewarded in the labour market, are the main
determinants of wage inequality.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has linked data from the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) of teachers of 15-year-old students with school-level data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a survey of 15-year-old students. The purpose of this study is to present an exploratory analysis of the combined TALIS-PISA data by examining the relationship of school-level student measures to teacher outcomes. In other words, this paper examines how student factors in a school may influence teachers’ work, their attitudes, and their perceived needs for support. Survey responses were collected from teachers and students in eight countries. Data from 26 610 teachers were combined with student measures, aggregated by school, from 103 077 students.
As governments around the world struggle with doing more with less, efficiency analysis climbs to the top of the policy agenda. This paper derives efficiency measures for more than 8,600 schools in 30 countries, using PISA 2012 data and a bootstrap version of Data Envelopment Analysis as a method. We estimate that given current levels of inputs it would be possible to increase achievement by as much as 27% if schools improved the way they use these resources and realised efficiency gains. We find that efficiency scores vary considerably both between and within countries. Subsequently, through a second-stage regression, a number of school-level factors are found to be correlated with efficiency scores, and indicate potential directions for improving educational results. We find that many efficiency-enhancing factors vary across countries, but our analysis suggests that targeting the proportion of students below low proficiency levels and putting attention to
students’ good attitudes (for instance, lower truancy), as well as having better quality of resources (i.e. teachers and educational facilities), foster better results in most contexts.
Trust is important for social and economic well-being, for enhancing social cohesion and strengthening resilience, and for maintaining security and order in our societies. Trust is the foundation upon which social capital is built and it also is intimately related to human capital. This work examines the association between education and levels of interpersonal trust, using data from the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). Our analysis demonstrated that education strengthens the cognitive and analytical capacities needed to develop, maintain, and (perhaps) restore trust in both close relationships as well as in anonymous others. It does so both directly, through building and reinforcing literacy and numeracy in individuals, and indirectly, through facilitating habits and reinforcing behaviours such as reading and writing at home and at work. Education and trust are thus fundamentally intertwined and dependent on each other. While all countries across the OECD have been striving to improve their education systems in terms of student achievement levels, this analysis suggests that there are also concrete elements that could be usefully addressed in order to reinforce and strengthen trust.
The increases in tuition and fee prices in 2015-16 were, like the increases in the two preceding years, relatively small by historical standards. However, the very low rate of general inflation makes this year’s increases in college prices larger in real terms than those of 2014-15 and 2013-14. Significantly, and perhaps counter to public impressions, price increases are not accelerating over time. However, the average published tuition and fee price of a full-time year at a public four-year institution is 40% higher, after adjusting for inflation, in 2015-16 than it was in 2005-06.The average published price is 29% higher in the public two-year sector and 26% higher in the private nonprofit four-year sector than a decade ago.
As I write this, the 42nd Parliament has not yet begun sitting and yet the impacts of the new government continue to reverberate.The steady string of announcements since the election appears almost designed specifically to please the university community. Academics – and researchers more generally – seem particularly heartened by the change in tone from the, let’s just say, churlishness of the previous regime.
The new cabinet, sworn in on Nov. 4, includes not just a Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, but also a Minister of Science, full stop. The day after the swearing in, the new Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan, tweeted: “Looking forward to restoring science to its rightful place in government!”
If you imagine the typical college student as someone who just left a Canadian high school, you are increasingly wrong. “There’s no sort of linear path, and a lot of the assumptions about who chooses what type of training are being thrown out the window,” says Christine Trauttmansdorf, vice-president of government relations and Canadian partnerships at Colleges and Institutes Canada.
According to a new survey of more than 4,000 undergraduates at 10 community colleges across the nation, half of all community college students are struggling with food and/or housing insecurity. Fully 20 percent are hungry and 13 percent are homeless. These numbers are startling and indicate the need for a multi-pronged, comprehensive set of institutional, state, and local policies to alleviate the barriers presented by poverty, so as to improve educational success.
The aim of this paper is to describe the technical issues to be addressed in enhancing the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) contextual questionnaires instruments for the PISA for Development (PfD) study. We discuss the conceptual framework for the contextual questionnaires used in PISA, describe the evolution of the PISA contextual questionnaires, review the measures used in several other international studies, and consider how the PISA data have been used to address the policy questions relevant to the OECD member countries. This research, alongside discussions with
key stakeholders, including those from participating countries, enabled us to identify seven themes in which the PISA contextual questionnaires could be enhanced and made more relevant for low- and middle-income countries: early learning opportunities, language at home and at school, family and community support, quality of instruction, learning time, socioeconomic status, and school resources. We discuss various options for enhancing these measures.
In this working paper, Earl and Timperley argue that evaluative thinking is a necessary component of successful innovation and involves more than measurement and quantification. Combining evaluation with innovation requires discipline in the innovation and flexibility in the evaluation. The knowledge bases for both innovation and evaluation have advanced dramatically in recent years in ways that have allowed synergies to develop between them; the different stakeholders can bring
evaluative thinking into innovation in ways that capitalise on these synergies. Evaluative thinking contributes to new learning by providing evidence to chronicle, map and monitor the progress, successes, failures and roadblocks in the innovation as it unfolds. It involves thinking about what evidence will be useful during the course of the innovation activities, establishing the range of objectives and targets that make sense to determine their progress, and building knowledge and developing practical uses for the new information, throughout the trajectory of the innovation. Having a continuous cycle of generating hypotheses, collecting evidence, and reflecting on progress, allows the stakeholders (e.g., innovation leaders, policymakers, funders, participants in innovation) an opportunity to try things, experiment, make mistakes and consider where they are, what went right and what went wrong, through a fresh and independent review of the course and the effects of the innovation. This paper describes issues and approaches to each phase of the cycle. It concludes by outlining the synergies to be made, building capacity for evaluative thinking, as well as possible tensions to be addressed.
Identifying effective policy interventions for adults with low literacy and numeracy skills has become increasingly important. The PIAAC Survey of Adult Skills has revealed that a considerable number of adults in OECD countries possess only limited literacy and numeracy skills, and governments now recognise the need to up-skill low-skilled adults in order to maintain national prosperity, especially in the context of structural changes and projected population ageing.
Vocational education and training are highly valued by many. The European Ministers for Vocational Education and Training, the European Social Partners and the European Commission have issued in 2010 the Bruges Communiqué, which describes the global vision for VET in Europe 2020. In this vision, vocational skills and competencies are considered as important as academic skills and competencies. VET is expected to play an important role in achieving two Europe 2020 headline
targets set in the education field: a) reduce the rate of early school leavers from education to less than 10 percent;
b) increase the share of 30 to 40 years old having completed tertiary or equivalent education to at least 40 percent. However, there is limited hard evidence that VET can improve education and labour market outcomes. The few existing studies yield mixed results partly due to differences in the structure and quality of VET across countries.
The combination of work and study has been hailed as crucial to ensure that youth develop the skills required on the labour market so that transitions from school to work are shorter and smoother. This paper fills an important gap in availability of internationally-comparable data. Using the 2012 Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), it draws a comprehensive picture of work and study in 23 countries/regions. Crucially, it decomposes the total share of working students by the context in which they work (VET, apprenticeships or private arrangements) and assesses the link between field of study and students’ work. The paper also assesses how the skills of students are used in the workplace compared to other workers and identifies the socio-demographic factors and the labour market institutions that increase the likelihood of work and study. Finally, while it is not
possible to examine the relationship between work and study and future labour market outcomes at the individual level, some aggregate correlations are unveiled.