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School and education

International PISA tests show how evidence-based policy can go wrong

OPINION: PISA gives scores to participating countries so they can be ranked from best to worst for the skills measured, as well as measuring how they stand globally over all skills. Too much importance is being given to these scores and rankings.

Norwegian eight-year-olds ‘dig’ their teacher

Norwegian children are more satisfied with their teacher than their peers in other countries are.

Swapped lectures with video and group sessions

A Norwegian math lecturer figured he should be interacting more with his students, rather than just summarizing the course syllabus during the time he had disposable for teaching.

Students’ reading improves with longer school days

Longer school days where teachers are free to plan extra sessions can improve students’ reading skills.

Creative crisis in the university lecture hall

Passive teaching techniques scare creative thinkers from the classroom, a Norwegian study suggests.

Punctuality more important than grades for apprenticeships

Getting to work on time. An interested and cheerful manner. These matter more to employers than an apprentice’s school grades.

Tablets help students write faster – but is that better?

If they need to remember what they write, pencils work better. So what is really best?

Teens with ADHD need more sleep

Sleep issues are more common among teenagers with symptoms of ADHD. And although they need more sleep, they tend to get way less than they need.

Teaching about religions tends to be condescending

A Swedish study finds that in high school religious education courses both teachers and pupils often suggest that religions are unnecessary for modern people.

It is not the ambitious girls who struggle most

Ambitious young people are not the ones who struggle most with mental health problems. On the contrary, it is those who are least integrated in school, family life and leisure activities who have the most problems.

What works best for back pain?

Your back is robust and you should use it. This is the message that many back patients are hearing from their doctor today. But is that enough? Do they recover more quickly if they receive more treatment, like physical therapy?