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Education Today 2013

The OECD Perspective

image of Education Today 2013

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.

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Early Childhood Education and Care

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

Participation in education by three- and four-year-olds tends now to be high, though coverage is a third or less of the age group in several OECD countries. Early childhood education and care (ECEC) has been a growing priority in OECD countries, and the subject of past and ongoing OECD analysis. A major OECD review was published in 2006 – Starting Strong II: Early Childhood Education and Care – which has been followed up through an ongoing international network. There are wide differences between systems, including between those which have a strong “preparation for school” approach and those implementing a broader social pedagogy, between those with mainly public provision and those relying strongly on private household resources, as well as in the relative emphasis on education and childcare. ECEC can bring a wide range of benefits for children, parents and society at large, but the magnitude of benefits is conditional on quality. Therefore the OECD in 2012 released Starting Strong III: A Quality Toolbox for Early Childhood Education and Care, which serves as a reference guide and aims to encourage quality in ECEC. Additionally, the 2012 edition of Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators includes a new indicator on the state of early childhood education, providing a rich comparative insight into early childhood education systems around the world.

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