East Asia and Pacific
Apesar do enorme progresso feito para que mais crianças estejam em sala de aula, estamos no meio de uma crise global de aprendizagem, onde um grande número de crianças conclui o ensino primário sem sequer possuir competencias básicas de literacia e numeracia. O que explica este fenómeno? Para responder a esta pergunta, considere os seguintes exemplos de salas de aula onde as chances de levar os alunos ao sucesso são improváveis.
A pesar del enorme progreso realizado en lograr que haya más niños en el aula, nos encontramos en medio de una crisis global de aprendizaje, donde un gran número de niños finalizan la educación primaria sin siquiera poseer las habilidades básicas de lectura, escritura y aritmética. ¿Qué explica este fenómeno? Para responder esta pregunta, considere los siguientes ejemplos de aulas donde las posibilidades de éxito de los estudiantes son muy bajas.
Despite tremendous progress in getting children into the classroom, we are experiencing a global learning crisis, where a large share of children complete primary school lacking even basic reading, writing, and arithmetic skills. What explains this phenomenon? To answer this question, consider the following examples of classrooms that are unlikely to put students on a path to success.
Public school teachers in Brazil, Indonesia or Peru have stable jobs, enjoy high level of legal protection, and are part of teacher unions that shield them politically. Public school teachers in Finland also have stable jobs and are rarely fired. They are represented by a powerful teacher union, which is very influential among other stakeholders in policy discussions. Why do student learning outcomes among these countries vary dramatically?
This September I traveled to Beijing and Ningbo, China, to participate in the second Africa China World Bank Education Partnership Forum on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). The Forum--co-hosted by the China Institute for Education Finance Research, Peking University, Ningbo Polytechnic and the World Bank Group-- served as a platform for discussion and knowledge exchange to encourage stronger partnership efforts between African TVET institutions and some of China’s best ranking TVET centers and industries.
The purpose of any education system is to equip learners with the ability to live a fulfilling and productive life. Currently, East Asia is home to seven of the top ten education systems in the world. Despite impressive achievements, these above-average performing systems are not resting on their accomplishments—they continue to deepen the quality of education, tying learning to new and emerging needs. Central to the region’s curriculum reform is a focus on teaching and measuring 21st century skills.
Collecting data in education can be a tricky business. After spending considerable resources to design a representative study, enlist and train data collectors, and organize the logistics of data collection, we want to ensure that we capture as true a picture of the situation on the ground as possible. This can be particularly challenging when we attempt to measure complex concepts, such as child development, learning outcomes, or the quality of an educational environment.
Data can be biased by many factors. For example, the very act of observation by itself can influence behavior. How can we expect a teacher to behave “normally” when outsiders sit in her or his classroom taking detailed notes about everything they do? Social desirability bias, where subjects seek to represent themselves in the most positive light, is another common challenge. Asking a teacher, “Do you hit children in your classroom?” may elicit an intense denial, even if the teacher still has a cane in one hand and the ear of a misbehaving child in another.