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[28 Mar 2020 | 4 Comments | 11,747]

An extended version of this post will be published in the journal of ECNU Review of Education.
Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers. ? Voltaire
The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he’s one who asks the right questions.? Claude Levi-Strauss
One of the most frequently and persistently asked questions about online education is “does it work” or “is it effective.” It is a legitimate question for it is only natural and reasonable for anyone faced with the decision to undertake online education to want to know …

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[19 Mar 2020 | No Comment | 4,219]
Silver Lining for Learning: Conversations about Reimagining Education in Times of Crisis

Silver Lining for Learning:
Conversations about the Future of Education
5:30-6:30pm EDT (US) Saturdays
Episode 1: March 21st
Watch at: URL to be announced.
Twitter: #silverliningforlearning
Don’t waste a crisis — M.F. Weiner
The “dark cloud” of the Coronavirus crisis continues to cause havoc worldwide and seems a generation-defining event. In education, this crisis has forced schools and universities to close, pushing often unprepared institutions to move teaching and learning online. The already stressed educational ecosystem now faces unprecedented difficulties that will fall disproportionately on students of low socioeconomic status and marginalized groups. This situation continues …

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[27 Feb 2020 | 13 Comments | 13,934]

The outbreak of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) has already forced schools and universities to close in China. It has also resulted in increased difficulties for international students to travel to attend their educational institutions as well as stoppage of on the ground operations of supplementary education (tutoring) services. Korea, Japan, Iran, Iraq, Italy are closing schools in the infected area and more countries are considering or preparing the closure of schools. And the situation seems to worsen globally, likely to affect more people and more schools.
This unfortunate event gives us …

Blogs »

[4 Feb 2020 | No Comment | 2,824]

PISA has many peculiar and surprising discoveries…
PISA wants to offer advice on anything and everything considered important to students in the world so it has decided to jump on the bandwagon of student well being. Life satisfaction is a very important aspect of well being because it “is closely associated with happiness, and can enable the kinds of healthy habits and attitudes that lead to a successful, fulfilling life.” Thus PISA wants to “help educators, schools and parents promote positive development amongst youth, and identify and support students who experience …

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[9 Jan 2020 | No Comment | 3,477]

PISA has many peculiar and surprising discoveries…
Fear of failure improves academic performance.
That’s a conclusion one can draw from PISA’s analysis of its data. This is true at the system level. “At the system level, the greater the fear of failure expressed by students, the higher the reading scores in that education system” (OECD, 2019, p. 193). This is especially true for high performing East Asian education systems and some English speaking systems. PISA found that:
a large number of English-speaking and East Asian education systems were amongst those whose students were …

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[6 Jan 2020 | No Comment | 2,453]

PISA has many peculiar and surprising discoveries…
Should we encourage students to co-operate?
Yes, because according to PISA, the omnipotent judge of education policy and practice:
In about 78% of school systems, and on average across OECD countries, students scored higher in reading when they reported greater co-operation amongst their peers, after accounting for the socio-economic profile of students and schools (as measured by the PISA index of economic, social and cultural status) (Table III.B1.8.10). (OECD, 2019, p. 122).
But wait. PISA also found:
In about 88% of the countries and economies that participated in …

Blogs, China/Chinese, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[4 Jan 2020 | 2 Comments | 6,428]

PISA has many peculiar and surprising discoveries…
Having a growth mindset is negatively associated with academic performance for participating students from China (Beijing-Shanghai-Jiangsu-Zhejiang or B-S-J-Z China), according to the 2018 PISA results. That is, Chinese students who had a fixed mindset scored higher in PISA reading than those who had a growth mindset. Considering that Chinese students’ stunning scores that put them way above all other students in the world, this finding should be disconcerting to proponents of growth mindset, including the PISA team.
Does this invalidate the belief that growth mindset …

Blogs, Education Reforms, Technology »

[2 Jan 2020 | One Comment | 5,341]

“Better-paid, better-educated workers face the most exposure” to AI, concludes a  recent report about the impact of Artificial Intelligence on jobs in the future. This conclusion should make us question the widely held belief that our children should get more education. More education is never a bad idea and has long been believed to lead to better lives, more income, for example, as illustrated in the diagram below.

Historical data suggest that the premium of education has increased over the years. The payoff of more education has grown significantly from the 1960s …

Blogs, Education Reforms, Featured, Globalization »

[5 Dec 2019 | 4 Comments | 7,910]
The PISA Illusion

This article was originally published in the Washington Post on December 3rd 2019. It was adapted from part one of an article to appear in Journal of Educational Change. The longer version discusses three illusions PISA has created and relied on for its undeserved impact on global education: the illusion of excellence, the illusion of science, and the illusion of progress.
PISA is a masterful magician. It has successfully created an illusion of education quality and marketed it to the world. In 2018, 79 countries took part in this magic show out of the belief …

Blogs, Education Reforms, Globalization »

[7 Oct 2018 | 4 Comments | 21,748]
Problems with Evidence-based Education: Side Effects in Education

The following is the Introduction of my book What Works Can Hurt: Side Effects in Education published by Teachers College Press in June 2018.
“Ibuprofen may cause a severe allergic reaction,” you are warned when you buy a bottle of Advil, and “this product may cause stomach bleeding.” Medical products are required to disclose clearly their intended effects and known side effects. The intended effect of the common pain reliever Ibuprofen, for example, is to temporarily relieve “minor aches and pains.” The drug’s known side effects include allergic reaction and stomach bleeding. Hence …