OECD Education Spotlights

This series, presented in a concise and engaging way, draw from the Directorate for Education and Skills rich content on education, analyses it from a global perspective and in relation to global megatrends, academic research and concrete policy examples to support strategic thinking in education. Using a multidisciplinary lens and a visual and concise format, this is a series directed at a broad audience, including policy makers, principals and teachers, researchers and parents and students.


Managing choice, coherence, and specialisation in upper secondary education

With a far greater share of the student cohort progressing into upper secondary education than previous generations, modern upper secondary systems need to accommodate a wider variety of student interests, aspirations and learning levels. To respond to these needs, countries need to balance choice and specialisation to promote coherence. Systems that provide too much choice or specialisation risk hindering coherence, while those with too little choice or specialisation risk that upper secondary does not enable students to identify their interests and deepen their skills in those areas, which is essential for smooth transitions into post-secondary pathways and the labour market. This Education Spotlight provides a framework for countries to consider how far their current system supports the goals of choice, specialisation and coherence and provides examples from across OECD countries as inspiration for future reforms.


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