Edutopia and Pearson’s video series on global education profiles innovative school systems around the world

Recently I came across this fascinating series of videos created by Edutopia and Pearson on global education. This video series entitled Education Everywhere profiles innovative school systems all around the world. They focus on high-achieving education systems and model schools around the world to see what makes them successful. Each video provides a transcript of what was said. Here are four of the videos that caught my attention:

1. Finland’s Formula for School Success

Early intervention and sustained individual support for every student are keys to educating the whole child in Finnish schools.

Only 3.8% of Finland’s population of 5.3 million is foreign-born, which makes for a relatively homogenous society in a small country. Teachers in Finland are well-trained and highly respected, and recruited from the top 10% of graduates. Because of the flexible national core curriculum that functions as a framework, Finnish teachers are able to design their own curriculum and choose their own textbooks. Finnish schools are typically small in size, and the administrators share teaching responsibilities. Finnish schools provide a broad array of services, including a hot meal for every student daily, health and dental care, and psychological guidance.

– Information taken from

2. Singapore’s 21st-Century Teaching Strategies

By cultivating strong school leadership, committing to ongoing professional development, and exploring innovative models like its technology-infused Future Schools, Singapore has become one of the top-scoring countries on the PISA tests. Find more videos from Edutopia’s YouTube Channel:

When Singapore gained its independence in 1965, most of its population of two million people were unskilled and illiterate. The government invested in education, and by the early 1970s, all children had access to lower secondary education. In 2009, the first year Singapore participated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, its students placed near the top for all tested subjects: fifth for reading, second for mathematics, and fourth for science. See all 2009 PISA scores. Teaching is a highly respected and well-compensated profession in Singapore. All teachers are trained at the country’s National Institute of Education (NIE). All new teachers are paired with experienced teachers for mentoring, and peer feedback is built into the schedule. Teachers are entitled to 100 low or no-cost hours of professional development each year. There are approximately 522,000 students attending about 350 schools in Singapore’s education system. Class sizes are large, especially at the secondary level, averaging 36 students per class.

– Information taken from:

3. Germany Takes On Education Reform

When low scores on the 2000 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) exams revealed the inequities in their education system, many German states began to make comprehensive efforts to improve the quality of their schools.

Germany is the largest country in the European Union, with a population of eighty-two million. It is also Europe’s strongest economy, and prides itself on a strong literary tradition and belief in social equality.

Much like the United States, education policy in Germany is not controlled by the central government, but by the states, where educational achievement varies.

The country was shocked when the results of the first PISA exams in 2000 were not only lower than the OECD average for reading, but revealed a higher correlation between family socio-economic status and student achievement than any other OECD country. This “PISA shock” led to national debate on how best to reform Germany’s complex education system.

– Information taken from

4. How Canada Is Closing the Achievement Gap

In Ontario, schools have raised their test scores and graduation rates by providing resources such as full-time student success teachers, who help English-language learners and other students in need.

  • About 40,000 immigrant students come into the Canadian public school system every year, due to Canada’s high rates of immigration per capita.
  • A quarter of the students in Ontario were born outside Canada, and 80% of them are non-English speaking.
  • The large province of Ontario accounts for 40% of Canada’s population; its two million students are funneled into about 5,000 schools.
  • Between 2003 and 2010, Ontario’s high school graduation rate rose from 68% to 79%. The provincial government’s goal is to reach an 85% graduation rate.
  • Every school in Ontario staffs a full-time “student success teacher,” who devotes his or her time to the students who need it most.
  • Despite coming into the country with challenges, immigrant children are typically performing as well as Canadian-born children on the PISA assessment just a few years after their arrival.

    Information taken from 

Take a look at this Education Everywhere series at Education Everywhere: School Success Stories from Abroad and discover their interesting stories about schools from around the world.

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