According to a poll recently conducted by education firm Pearson, students in Finland and South Koren are receiving the best education in the world. Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore round out the top 5, while the United Kingdom is sixth, Canada checks in at 10th, and the United States comes in at 17th:
The study notes that while funding is an important factor in strong education systems, cultures supportive of learning is even more critical — as evidenced by the highly ranked Asian countries, where education is highly valued and parents have grand expectation. While Finland and South Korea differ greatly in methods of teaching and learning, they hold the top spots because of a shared social belief in the importance of education and its “underlying moral purpose.”
The study aims to help policymakers and school leaders identify key factors that lead to successful educational outcomes. The research draws on literacy data as well as figures in government spending on education, school entrance age, teacher salaries and degree of school choice. Researchers also measured socioeconomic outcomes like national unemployment rates, GDP, life expectancy and prison population.
The study concluded with five big points:
- Education requires long-term, coherent and focussed system-wide attention to achieve improvement.
- Teachers need to be treated as the valuable professionals they are, not as technicians in a huge, educational machine.
- Using the positive elements of this culture and, where necessary, seeking to change the negative ones, are important to promoting successful outcomes.
- Education systems should strive to keep parents informed and work with them.
- Education systems need to consider what skills today’s students will need in future and teach accordingly.
You can read the rest of the article (and find out where your country ranks) at Huffington Post.