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Reviews of National Policies for Education: Improving Lower Secondary Schools in Norway 2011

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Lower secondary education is key for success in overall education attainment, because it is where students can either “make it or break it.” It is the last level to consolidate basic skills and to enter either upper secondary education or the labour market with the adequate competences. This report develops comparative knowledge on lower secondary education across OECD countries and tailors it to the context of an OECD country: Norway.

Despite diversity in provision across countries, lower secondary education faces some similar challenges: some countries have difficulties ensuring high academic achievement, and many students fall behind at this stage, resulting eventually in drop out from upper secondary. Selected evidence shows that there may be lack of student motivation and that the configuration and practices in schools at this age may not cater adequately to the specific development needs of early adolescents.

After analyzing the comparative evidence and country practices, this report provides a strategy to support teachers, schools and students that can contribute to raise student attainment in this level (or to make this level more effective) in Norway.

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Executive summary

The report Improving lower secondary schools in Norway aims to help education authorities in Norway and other OECD countries to understand the importance of lower secondary education and to find approaches to strengthen this key education level. It provides an overview of the structure of lower secondary education and the main challenges it faces across OECD countries, develops a comparative framework of the key policy levers for success in lower secondary and adapts it to Norway’s specific context. The recommendations focus on teacher quality, school success, student pathways and on the process of effective policy implementation. The report is a result of the OECD’s efforts to support making reform happen across OECD and partner countries.

English

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