November 19, 2013

Gillian Tett - If a country wants to improve its education system its population must be hungry for change

Gillian Tett provided an overview of the successful education systems across Finland, Poland and South Korea and drew a few key lessons from this phenomenon. She said:
"It pays to invest in vocational education, alongside academic learning; it makes sense to spend more in poor areas; when the status and training of teachers improve, this has a powerful impact on results; children benefit from being given more freedom to manage their time; and when parents get involved with their children at home, this produces much better results than volunteering for the Parent Teachers Association. “The more time that parents spend volunteering on PTAs, the worse their children perform,” Ripley observed at an event in New York last week."
Here's the key lesson. She continued:
"But perhaps the most important message is the most basic one: if a country wants to improve its educational system in a hurry, its population must be hungry for change. “All the countries which have obtained this [improvement] have faced an economic existential crisis,” Ripley says. “There was a real imperative to change and their people didn’t feel they had a choice"."
In FT in full here.

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