What Grade Do the World’s Math Teachers Get?

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CMRubinWorld’s recent interview with the man behind PISA, Andreas Schleicher, on new global study highlighting key strategies used to improve math outcomes around the world.

What can we learn from the teaching and learning practices of mathematics — school to school and country to country? PISA (a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students) collected data from students and school principals in 70 countries about how teachers teach mathematics. The goal was to explore what teaching and learning strategies related to higher student achievement.

In an in-depth interview with CMRubinWorld Founder C. M. Rubin, Schleicher (OECD Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the OECD Secretary-General) discloses the remarkable finding that “teaching strategies clearly trump nationality and social background; many of our observations hold over more than 60 countries. The data also showed that where teachers have confidence in their own skills and abilities, they are more likely to innovate in the classroom.” Schleicher asserts that teacher self-efficacy is key to success in mathematics and that a “high degree of professional autonomy in a collaborative culture...” is essential to cultivating innovation in teachers across the globe.

On the international stage where vastly different teaching styles collide, one thing is clear: “The challenges and complexities brought by 21st century classrooms make it impossible for teachers just to rely on their initial training. Thus, life-long learning should be a must on the teachers’ career path.”

Andreas Schleicher is Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. Before joining the OECD, Mr. Schleicher was Director for Analysis at the International Association for Educational Achievement (IEA). He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the “Theodor Heuss” prize, awarded in the name of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany for “exemplary democratic engagement”. He holds an honorary Professorship at the University of Heidelberg.

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CMRubinWorld launched in 2010 to explore what kind of education would prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing globalized world. Its award winning series, The Global Search for Education, is a celebrated trailblazer in the renaissance of the 21st century, and occupies a special place in the pulse of key issues facing every nation and the collective future of all children. It connects today’s top thought leaders with a diverse global audience of parents, students and educators. Its highly readable platform allows for discourse concerning our highest ideals and the sustainable solutions we must engineer to achieve them. C. M. Rubin has produced over 500 interviews and articles discussing an expansive array of topics under a singular vision: when it comes to the world of children, there is always more work to be done.

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