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Showing posts from February, 2015

Are teachers hard-working professionals?

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Dirk Van Damme Head of the Innovation and Measuring Progress division, Directorate for Education and Skills

Time is no doubt an essential dimension in the identity – and its perception – of the teaching profession. In many countries the statutory definition of the working time of teachers is limited to the actual number of hours spent teaching in classes. To many people this creates the perception that teachers earn more or less equivalent salaries to those in similar professions for working half as many hours. Of course teachers are expected to undertake other tasks on top of just teaching, but their work schedule is flexible and they can do this work autonomously in their ‘own’ time. This flexibility to combine work, family life and leisure, and a comparatively high autonomy in organising one’s work, certainly contribute to the attractiveness of the teaching profession, especially among women who still take on the largest share of household tasks and responsibilities. The problem wi…

Got a math problem?

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by Marilyn Achiron
Editor, Directorate for Education and Skills

Some 37% of students in the Netherlands reported that they often worry that mathematics classes will be difficult for them. In Argentina, 80% of students reported the same worry. What is the percentage-point difference between the two countries in the proportion of students who worry that mathematics classes will be difficult for them?*


While reading the above mathematics problem, did you:
start hyperventilating and repeat to yourself “I  can’t do this;
I can’t do this; I can’t do this”grab your mouse with the intent of clicking off this pagefeel as though you have never encountered such a confusing
jumble of words and numbers beforeall of the above? If you answered a, b, c or d, you’re in good company: on average, about one in three students feels anxious when confronted with a mathematics problem, and more than one in two students reported that they often worry that it will be difficult for them in mathematics classes. T…