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Education Today 2010

The OECD Perspective

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What does the OECD have to say about the state of education today? What are the main OECD messages on early childhood education, teacher policies and tertiary education? What about student performance, educational spending and equity in education? OECD work on these important education topics and others have been brought together in a single accessible source updating the first edition of Education Today which came out in March 2009.

Organised into eight chapters, this report examines early childhood education, schooling, transitions beyond initial education, higher education, adult learning, outcomes and returns, equity, and innovation. The chapters are structured around key findings and policy directions emerging from recent OECD educational analyses. Each entry highlights the main message in a concise and accessible way, with a brief explanation and reference to the original OECD source.

"The large issues that the very conciseness of this book brings into focus might suggest that brevity is an underrated virtue in the educational literature."   -  Paul Temple, Institute of Education, University of London, reviewing in the London Review of Education

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Outcomes, Benefits and Returns

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

Very rich information on educational outcomes has been generated through OECD work, especially with the triennial Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which surveys the achievements of 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics, science and related aspects of competence, together with a range of associated background information. Education is also closely related to employment outcomes and earnings, with key OECD findings reported in this chapter. Additionally there is an expanding analysis of returns to education within the OECD, with findings confirming the positive returns to higher levels of educational attainment on a variety of measures, certainly for the individual, but also for the economy at large. There are also positive returns to early childhood education and care, and to vocational education. Work on the social outcomes of education examines how education influences health, civic participation and social engagement, as well as the economic outcomes.

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