by Marilyn Achiron
Editor, Directorate for Education and Skills
It seems like only yesterday…but it was, in fact, 50 months ago that we started our PISA in Focus series. Over these past four years we’ve mined PISA 2009 and PISA 2012 results to highlight some of the most important findings and stories from the triennial international survey of 15-year-old students – from the importance of early childhood education to the effect of family background on students’ education to whether or not doing homework is really beneficial (in general, PISA finds that yes, it really is…).
This month, PISA in Focus examines the impact of good teacher-student relations on both students’ well-being and performance. It’s not surprising that when students feel that their teachers are interested in them and support them they feel happier at school and often do better in school. What is surprising is that in several OECD countries, fewer than 60% of students attend schools whose principal reported that mathematics teachers in their schools believe that the social and emotional development of their students is as valued as the acquisition of mathematics skills. While long-term studies suggest that students’ results on the PISA test are correlated with how well they will do later on in life, good performance in standardised assessments like PISA can explain only so much. Success and well-being in life also depend on how well individuals have developed socially and emotionally, particularly throughout their crucial school years.
At this mini-milestone in our history, we’d like to thank you for your continued interest in PISA. In the coming months, we’ll be sharing more findings from PISA 2012 – even as we look ahead to December 2016, when PISA 2015 results will be announced and a new volume of stories will be open for the telling.
Photo credit: © OECD