28 November 2012

The Learning Curve is a new report comparing international education accomplishments. Published yesterday by the Pearson Group for the Economist  Intelligence Unit, this global study doesn’t cast the comforting light on education standards in New Zealand of some recent reports.  

The best rated countries have a “culture of education” flowing from the respect and “high status” given to teachers. New Zealand is placed 8th.  Australia is 13th.

The report rehashes data published by a number of international organisations, overlayed with figures collated every three or four years, in areas such as maths, science, literacy, and rates for school attendance and university graduation.

The political perspective being championed is that promoting a culture that is supportive of education is more important than the amount of money invested. The report notes though that high-quality teaching is the crucial factor for effective education.

There is criticism of countries with education systems geared strongly towards universities.  An example is the United States where a consequence is a large number of graduates in their mid-twenties who don’t have skills and credentials needed to succeed in a technology-driven economy.

The pecking order in the Learning Curve is as follows:

1      Finland

2      South Korea

3      Hong Kong

4      Japan

5      Singapore

6      UK

7      Netherlands

8      New Zealand

9      Switzerland

10    Canada

11    Ireland

12    Denmark

13    Australia