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Why is it so hard to study school leadership in cross-cultural research?

Jelena Veletić Evidence shows that some of the key aspects of educational policies, like school leadership, are very sensitive and shaped by the culture and context where they are executed.  Nevertheless, we frequently want to compare and contrast such concepts across different cultures and contexts. To do so, our instrument (e.g. test, questionnaire) must operate […]

Are the Gender Gaps in PISA Influenced by Its Methodology?

Are the Gender Gaps in PISA Influenced by Its Methodology?

PISA measures 15-year-olds achievement scores in mathematics, reading and science and has evolved into a powerful tool in politics, as the scores can be compared across countries and over time. Apart from the scores themselves, there is also significant interest in the achievement differences between boys and girls.

Concept Of Covid-19 In Red Background

Corona and Education: Are Students Really Ready for Digital Schooling?

Evi E. Konstantinidou The Rise of Distance Learning During recent months, mitigating COVID-19 has meant the severe curtailment of normal life, including global closures of schools. This approach to control the spread of the virus has produced an unprecedented wave of disruption in the education of more than 80 per cent of students worldwide, as […]

Can Educational Standards Increase Educational Equality?

Can Educational Standards Increase Educational Equality?

When talking about equality in education, the difficulties begin with defining what equality in eduation means. A basic function of education is societal integration: providing individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills to participate in society. In this regard equality in education means that everyone is granted a certain minimum level of education which is needed for participation in society. This can be a challenge for education systems, particularly in times of increasingly diverse student bodies.

PISA Struggles to Measure All Participants

PISA Struggles to Measure All Participants

David Rutkowski & Leslie Rutkowski The 2018 cycle of the Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA) featured nearly 80 system-level participants from all continents, excluding Antarctica. Participants include all OECD countries, accounting for most of the wealthiest countries in the world and a number of newcomers, such as Belarus whose, GDP per capita falls well […]

PISA 2018 Indicates Gender Reading Gaps are Closing: Is It Time to Celebrate?

PISA 2018 Indicates Gender Reading Gaps are Closing: Is It Time to Celebrate?

Results from PISA 2018 reveal a persistent gender gap in favour of 15-year-old girls in reading. On average, across 29 OECD countries with comparable data since 2000, this gap was 32 points in in 2000, 39 points in 2009 and 30 points in 2018. PISA scores have a standard deviation of around 100 points: this means that gender gaps in reading were large in 2000 and remain large in 2018. In some of the countries that are often considered to be champions of gender equality, boys’ underachievement in reading is especially pronounced: in Finland it was 51 points in 2000, 55 points in 2009 and 52 points in 2018. In Norway it was 43 points in 2000 and 47 points in both 2009 and 2018.

Preventing social segregation to improve equity in education

Preventing social segregation to improve equity in education

In recent years, levels of social segregation have increased in several European capital cities. Against this background, a recent study analyzed to what extent education systems in European countries are socially segregated, and whether social segregation between schools is related to social inequality in student achievement.

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Preparing the ground: early learning opportunities can make the difference

Sabine Meinck & Agnes Stancel-Piątak For decades, educational researchers have found that children from disadvantaged families often lack access to stimulating learning activities.[1][2] Back in 1995, a famous study called “The early catastrophe. The 30 million words gap” by Hart & Risley[3] uncovered a large gap in language exposure of toddlers between high and low-income […]

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Comparing the Relationship Between Teacher Quality, Instruction and Educational Outcomes in Primary and Secondary School. Evidence from Nordic Countries.

Trude Nilsen Lack of previous research in Nordic countries Previous research on teacher effectiveness has shown that formal teacher training and certification affects student outcomes indirectly via their instruction. However, most studies within this field have been conducted in Germany and the US, using the mathematics achievement of lower secondary students as the outcome. We […]

An Unfair Start: UNICEF’s Report Card on Educational Inequalities in Rich Countries

An Unfair Start: UNICEF’s Report Card on Educational Inequalities in Rich Countries

Two OCCAM contributors (John Jerrim and myself) participated in the Advisory Board of UNICEF’s latest Report Card on educational inequalities in rich countries. It was a great experience, not least because of the diversity of perspectives on the topic. There were many underlying conceptual dilemmas, data problems and difficult choices to be made in selecting the indicators and the ensuing ranking of countries. The UNICEF research team finally decided on all these methodological choices, which was fortunate in view of the lack of consensus within the Advisory Board.