Head Scratching in USA

The woes of the American school education system continue to get debated and worried over. The PISA results in OECD countries provide lots of interesting clues about what is (and what isn’t) working in school education worldwide. They test primarily Maths and problem solving skills of 15 year olds.

One thing they prove, especially in the case of Finland is that starting last in the ‘race’ can still win. Finnish children start pre-school at the age of 6, school at 7. Before that, no pressure about who is reading, who isn’t, who’s making academic progress (whatever that means) and who isn’t.

To me, the other thing that marks out the top performing countries is great pre and in-service training and professional development for educators, clarity of national learning objectives coupled with lots of localised autonomy about how to achieve those objectives.

It would be fascinating to be able to gauge where India sits currently compared with the OECD countries on PISA. My guess is we would have all extremes – a handful of schools where students would achieve at levels comparable to the best in the world, but the majority producing weak and disappointing outcomes.

We owe it to all children to work tirelessly on these issues., quality education.

New York Times Article

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Arjun Sodhi – Environmental Journalist of the Future?

There are times when students of The Shri Ram School do things that just blow us away, reminding us all why we do the work we do – and why every bit of it is worthwhile.

One such is Arjun Sodhi who has just had an article published in Tehelka.

Arjun Sodhi Tehelka Article

Arjun puts his point across eloquently and powerfully. The article is extremely well written and as a result we are left in no doubt about the strength of his feelings.

Kudos to him and the final message – Arjun, there are some adults who are listening to you and your peers. It’s not enough, but with ambassadors for the environment of your calibre there will always be reason to hope for the future.

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