“A lot of countries are combining excellence with equity, in fact, one of the most important lessons from this comparison is that you don’t have to compromise equity to achieve excellence.” – Andreas Schleicher, France
Andreas Schleicher, whom we interviewed last year on Daily Edventures, has long been a proponent of using data to reshape the education landscape. Through his work with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and it’s global PISA testing, we are learning not only which countries perform well, but more important, why some countries perform better than others. And in spite of some arguments to the contrary, Schleicher says, it isn’t about how much money is invested. “Spending per student only explains about less than 20 percent of the performance variation among countries.”
In this well-crafted TED talk from TEDGlobal 2012, Schleicher explores the attitudes of top-performing countries about education, and the choices they’ve made to ensure that future generations are prepared for the workplace and to become global citizens and leaders. According to Schleicher, “We were less interested in whether students could simply reproduce what they learned in school; we wanted to test whether they could extrapolate from what they learned, and apply the knowledge in novel situations.”
Schleicher finds some of the PISA data concerning – citing the number of graduates currently unemployed and unable to fill employer needs – but he also finds hope. “We no longer live in a world that is neatly divided between rich, well educated countries,” he says, “and poor, badly educated countries.”
About Andreas Schleicher
Andreas Schleicher joined the OECD in 1994, where in addition to his current role, has held the posts of Deputy Head of the Statistics and Indicators Division in the former Directorate for Education, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (1997-2002) and Project Manager in the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) (1994-1996). Before joining the OECD, Schleicher served as Director for Analysis at the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) within the Institute for Educational Research in the Netherlands (1993-1994) and International Coordinator for the IEA Reading Literacy Study, at the University of Hamburg, Germany (1989-1992). Originally a graduate in physics, Schleicher subsequently studied mathematics at Deakin University in Australia, where his master’s thesis received the Bruce Choppin Award.
In 2003, Andreas was awarded the “Theodor Heuss” prize, given for “exemplary democratic engagement” in association with the public debate on PISA. He also holds an honorary professorship at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. In 2002, Andreas was awarded the “educación y libertad en el ámbito educativo” prize by the Spanish national association of private schools.
A German citizen, Andreas is married, with three children. He speaks German, English, Italian and French.
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