PISA results and the truth about '21st-century skills'

December 6, 2016

Why Schools Should Not Teach General Critical-Thinking Skills


  • Schools have become ever more captivated by the idea that students must learn a set of generalised thinking skills, or ‘21st-century learning skills’, to flourish in the contemporary world. Of course, critical thinking is essential, however, it cannot be detached from context. Teaching students generic ‘thinking skills’ separate from the rest of their curriculum is meaningless and ineffective.

In the World’s Biggest Education Test, One Small Country Has Raced Past All the Others


  • Every three years the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tests 15-year-olds around the world on their math, science and reading abilities. Then, countries around the world celebrate, or panic. In the latest results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Finland has fallen from its perch and Singapore trounced the rest of the world on math, reading and science.

Learning Styles: Is Visual Learning Really A Thing?


  • It’s common to hear people say, “I’m a visual learner,” but research doesn’t support the idea that learning styles like visual or auditory learning are inherent traits. Many students confuse a learning preference with inherent trait when really most learners benefit when new information is presented in multiple ways.

Innovation Center Provides Global Hub for Flipped Learning

THE Journal

  • Teachers around the world have a new resource for connecting, problem-solving, innovating and sharing best practices in flipped learning. The International Flipped Learning Innovation Center (IFLIC) is an online platform designed to support collaboration and innovation among flipped learning practitioners worldwide.

What Students (and Schools) Can Do if We Stop Ranking Them

Getting Smart

  • Are we preparing every student for the world they are entering, or are we investing in a factory model of education designed as an assembly line? The old model of education is under question, and we have some hard decisions to make.

Challenges Persist when Gamifying Education

Education DIVE

  • Effectively engaging students in the classroom within an age of constant technological distraction can often seem like a battle of the brain. Increasingly, educators are looking for new ways to improve student outcomes, such as gamification. But determining how to use gaming elements and to what extent remains a hurdle to unlocking its full potential for many.

Teaching Students about Their Digital Footprints

Faculty Focus

  • Our students live in an online world. They’re emotionally and physically attached to their devices. As educators, we have had to adapt to this changing landscape of communication within our teaching. However, one area that doesn’t get enough attention is educating students on the digital footprints they leave behind. Footprints that can jeopardize their employment potential.

How to Combat Fake News Online? Bring Reddit (and Other Online Forums) Into the Classroom


  • Reddit has become an important way for scholars to distribute and explain their findings—you just have to know where on the bustling online community to look. A professor at the University of California at Davis plans to send her graduate students into the popular online forum to teach them to bring more-accurate scientific information to the public.

PSAT Scores—Now What? (Dec. 6)
Results from the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Quality Student Learning (Dec. 7)
Engaging Students in Critical Thinking: Teaching with Technology (Dec. 8)
Now I Have to Teach Coding? A Beginner’s Guide (Dec. 8)

QS Stars 2016 Reimagine Education (Dec. 5-6)
BETT 2017 (Jan. 25-28)
RE•WORK - Deep Learning Summit (Jan. 26-27)
Chief Learning Officer Exchange of 2017 (Feb. 26-28)
All upcoming conferences and events...

Educational Innovation Weekly Review is curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation. With the highlights of the week on innovation, technology and education. If you require more information about a specific note, please email us: observatorio@itesm.mx. TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY, 2016.

Observatory of Educational Innovation

Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation: We identify and analyze the educational innovation trends that are shaping the future of learning and education. 

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