A recent study found that 4 out of 10 Canadian students from disadvantaged backgrounds did exceptionally well in school in spite of their socioeconomic circumstances. Canada ranks 7th in the world following China, South Korea, Singapore, Finland, Japan and Turkey when it comes to leveling the playing field of education.
Based on test scores collected by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Canada achieved a 39% rating, which puts it well above the world average of 31% when it comes to resiliency and academic performance. The tests covered math, science and reading skills, and according to OECD analyst Pablo Zoido, it shows that Canada has a strong education system and a relatively equitable society.
United States Lags
Countries that didn’t fare as well included France (30%), the United States (29%), Britain (24%) and Germany (23%).
The study found that self-confidence and adequate learning time were key ingredients for building resiliency, and that teachers who use strategies which encourage motivation and built on exisitng self-confidence benefitted students from disadvantaged situations the most.
What Do You Think?
Motivating kids and building on their existing skills to foster self-confidence was one of the most difficult aspects of teaching in my opinion. Often schools are not set up to allow for flexibility in terms of time and resources. What have you found or noted that’s worked in your neighborhood schools? Share your stories.
Photo credit: USACE/Earth Day by USACE Europe District
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