Given the PISA results, I would work to build on teaching to think, rather than regurgitate. If I understand how PISA works, the two-hour test doesn't test students acquired knowledge, so to speak, but a student's ability to extrapolate on his/her knowledge and utilise it in new situations. If I wanted the next generation to excel at the PISA tests, and presumably in the world, I'd encourage creative thinking, linkage building and new ways of thinking. How? By using more application-based learning, team learning, challenging interactive learning, and more.
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute.
My focus is on the first of the 'top actions' nominated in the recent survey: "Teach to think, not to regurgitate".
'Teaching"may not lead to the desired action. 'Training' is my preference; training to do, to apply, to move, generate, design...
"Good reasons": I accept perceptions. I am interested to learn more about what you describe as 'good'. Certainly, if 'good' means, implementing rather than theorising, I support this initiative. Change for the sake of change need not be 'good'.
Beware of generalisations.
I believe each state has unique educational needs and systems. There may be value in collecting yet more information about what could happen in OECD members states, and elsewhere. Greater value and more immediate action is possible if case studies are indentified where the deliberate teaching of thinking as a skill has and is happening.
The first priority question: What 'job' do we want from training of a new sort of thinking; not critical thinking, not analytical thinking, not judgement thinking, not argument-based thinking but an entirely new style?
I can speak with authority about the deliberate training of students in thinking as a skill in New Zealand, a member state, and Lithuania.
Readers my wish to view some of the processes and principles:
For me the most important action point is no. 5 on ensuring quality education for disadvantaged/immigrant children. The PISA results show that top performers Finland and Korea score high on equity (ie they ensure high standards are met at all schools, not just some) so this is clearly the way to go. Not to mention the fact that if we actually want to harness all the brain power and creativity we have in society to solve our intractable problems (not least, those associated with ageing societies) we are going to have to mobilise EVERYONE's skills and diversity. Struck me that Charlie Leadbeater and the Finnish state secretary both got that one right in this OECD video. Check it out!
Today we learned that 75% of the disadvantaged Shangai students (who topped the charts in reading, math and science) performed well. PISA really shows the importance of equity in education - and that we can achieve equity and quality at the same time. We also learned on the French news and at the Paris press conference today that the divide between the elite and the disadvantaged is widening in France (France's performance is also slipping). So yes, I agree, we should work to provide quality education to disadvantaged and immigrant children as much as we can.