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Archive for the 'International comparisons' Category

Phonics teaching in England needs to change – our new research points to a better approach

Blog Editor, IOE Digital20 January 2022

 
Sokor Space/Shutterstock

Dominic Wyse and Alice Bradbury.

Arguments about the best way to teach children to read can be intense – they’ve even been described as “the reading wars”. In England, as in many other countries, much of the debate has been over the use of phonics, which helps children understand how sounds – “phonemes” – are represented by letters.

The government requires teachers to use a particular type of phonics teaching called “synthetic phonics”, and the emphasis on this technique has become overwhelming in English primary schools.

Supporters of synthetic phonics teaching have argued that teaching of phonemes and letters should be first and foremost. On the other side have been supporters of whole language instruction, who think that reading whole texts – books for example – should come first and foremost.

Our new research shows that synthetic phonics alone is not the best way to teach children to read. We found that a more (more…)

Disruptive relations with the EU and institutional resilience in the UK and Switzerland

Blog Editor, IOE Digital8 December 2021

Tatiana Fumasoli and Lucy Shackleton. 

The UK and Swiss higher education systems share characteristics: strong academic performance, high levels of internationalisation in the staff and student body, and a global reputation.

They also share an uncertain future regarding their relationship to Horizon Europe, the European Union’s flagship research and innovation programme.

While provisions for UK association to Horizon Europe were included in the terms of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), at the time of writing, UK association has not been formalised by the EU, and EU Research Commissioner Mariya Gabriel has indicated that no progress can be made before ‘transversal’ political issues regarding the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol (more…)

Making time to care: parental leave today and tomorrow

Blog Editor, IOE Digital14 September 2021

darkside-550 / Pixabay

Peter Moss and Alison Koslowski.

Work-life balance and gender equality are firmly on today’s political agenda, nationally and internationally. Key to achieving both is parenting leave, including maternity, paternity and parental leave, as well as leave for parents to care for sick children. Our new report, freely available online, provides an invaluable source of information about parenting leave, in the UK and 46 other countries.

The annual international review on leave policies is produced by a network of experts from many countries, across six continents including nearly all of Europe. As well as full details of parenting leaves in all 47 countries covered and cross-national tables, the review has information on recent developments in leave policy, take-up, the relationship between leave policies and early childhood services, plus a section on responses to Covid, covering early childhood services, schools, changes to leave policies and other support for parents.

At 645 pages, the 17th annual international review of the leave network is hard to summarise. Here are just a few tasters. What’s immediately striking is the great diversity in how countries design and implement leave policies – even between member states of the European Union, where directives set minimum standards for (more…)

Measuring children’s development in low and middle income countries: getting it right

Blog Editor, IOE Digital21 May 2021

Bernie Munoz, Julie Dockrell, Lynn Ang and Jessica Massonnié.

How do we measure young children’s development and the quality of their learning environments in low and middle income countries (LMICs)? This answer is key for researchers, practitioners, field workers and NGOs working with children as there is a pressing need to prevent childhood ‘stunting’ in these countries.

Childhood stunting is the impaired growth and development that children experience because of poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation.

Through a systematic review (SR) soon to be published in the Journal of Early Childhood Research, we identified 43 current tools: 34 for assessing children’s (more…)

Thirteen insights into teacher wellbeing and mental health

Blog Editor, IOE Digital30 April 2021

John Jerrim.

Today, with my colleagues Becky Allen and Sam Sims, I have published a major new analysis of teacher mental health and wellbeing in England. Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, it is the culmination of two years of work and is, we believe, the most comprehensive analysis on this issue to date.

In this blogpost, we’ll take you through a whistle-stop tour of some of our results.

1. Teachers in England are more likely to perceive their job as causing them stress – and having a negative impact upon their mental health – than teachers in other countries

In spring 2018, teachers in more than 40 countries were asked whether they felt their job caused them stress and had a negative impact upon their mental health.

As the chart below illustrates, teachers in England were very clear in their views. Lower-secondary teachers in (more…)

Questions about PISA 2018, part 1: In Scotland, were key changes taken into account?

Blog Admin22 April 2021

John Jerrim.

How much can we trust government reporting of key statistics? Not just the headline findings, but the basic details underpinning them? Those things that it’s important for consumers of data to know if they want to form their own independent judgement about the strength of the evidence available?

In my new paper released today, and forthcoming in the Review of Education, I report what I consider to be a worrying lack of transparency surrounding some aspects of the reporting of the PISA 2018 data for the UK.

This blog is the first in a series posted today looking into some of the (more…)

Questions about PISA 2018, part 2: Did certain schools select out of the study in England and Northern Ireland?

Blog Admin22 April 2021

John Jerrim.

In my new paper released today, and forthcoming in the Review of Education, I report what I consider to be a worrying lack of transparency surrounding some aspects of the reporting of the PISA 2018 data for the UK.

This blog is the second in a series published today looking into some of the issues. Here I focus upon the non-response bias analysis conducted in England and Northern Ireland – but that didn’t get reported. (more…)

Questions about PISA 2018, part 3: How representative is the data for England and Wales?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital22 April 2021

John Jerrim.

The second blog in this series discussed how a non-response bias analysis had to be undertaken for England’s and Northern Ireland’s PISA 2018 data.

The interpretation of the aforementioned bias analyses (by the OECD and the Department for Education) was that the PISA samples for these countries were ‘representative’ and ‘not biased’.

But is this really the case?

This blog presents evidence (more…)

What’s behind the headlines? Exploring another round of international league tables

Blog Editor, IOE Digital8 December 2020

Tina Isaacs, Mary Richardson and  Jennie Golding.

Reports from the latest round of international testing – the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), published today, will provide much material for study over the coming months and years. Now in its seventh four-yearly cycle, TIMSS tests 10 and 14-year-olds – in England, pupils in years 5 and 9 – in maths and science knowledge and understanding. It also gathers information on pupils’ school and home contexts.

It is this combination of data that could help us understand how to improve teaching and learning for those groups – often disadvantaged – that are doing less well than others.

In 2019, 64 countries and eight benchmarking systems participated, with over 580,000 pupils tested. We co-wrote the report for England (PDF), which was published today.

Overall, England’s pupils did pretty well –  eighth out of 58 countries for year 5 maths; 13th out of 39 (more…)

Why we should care about international tests

Blog Editor, IOE Digital7 December 2020

Mary Richardson and Tina Isaacs.

Governments around the world now agree that international comparisons of educational achievement are something to value. They provide extra data to enhance policy-making and practice. In fact, pupils in more than half of all the countries across the globe take part in international large-scale assessments (ILSAs) such as PISA, and the involvement of the majority of the world’s most advanced economies assures their continued popularity.

Tomorrow sees the publication of  results from one of these programmes, and this country’s will appear in the TIMSS National Report for England (The Trends in International Maths and Science Study compares children’s knowledge at ages 10 and 14). Much excitement always accompanies the publication of the international and national reports for the ILSAs because each participating country wants to know where it features in what are essentially global education league tables.

In taking part in ILSAs carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (PISA) and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (TIMSS and PIRLS), countries are acknowledging that knowledge and skills – human capital – are strategic resources (more…)