According to the survey, which evaluates the knowledge and skills of the world’s 15-year-olds, Asian countries outperform the rest of the world.
Shanghai-China, and Singapore were top in maths, with students in Shanghai scoring the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling above most OECD countries.
Hong Kong-China, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Macao-China, Japan, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Netherlands were also in the group of top-performing countries.
The survey reveals several features of the best education systems. Top performers, notably in Asia, place great emphasis on selecting and training teachers, encourage them to work together and prioritize investment in teacher quality, not classroom sizes. They also set clear targets and give teachers autonomy in the classroom to achieve them.
The OECD’s PISA 2012 tested more than 510,000 students in 65 countries and economies on maths, reading and science. The survey examines not just what students know but what they can do with what they know.
The whole report is available for the IESE Community here.