The Secrets behind Shanghai’s Top Class Students

So we have all recently heard how Britain was well below countries such as China and other European countries in the ‘Programme for International Student Assessment’, known as the PISA tests.

According the Telegraph report, Shanghai was crowned – for the second time – the champion of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which compares the maths, reading and science skills of some 510,000 secondary school students around the world.

Shanghai’s students came top of the global class in maths with an average score of 613 and placed Shanghai 25 places above Britain, which had 494 points.

Shanghai also came top in reading (570 points) and Britain was in 23rd place with 499 points.

Shanghai was also victorious in science (Britain came 21st) and excelled when it came to “top performers”.

Although some expert does question the value of comparing cities and countries, Prof Kong Lingshuai of the College of Education at Shanghai Normal University has studied the city’s PISA successes. He says that the SECRET is a mix of “traditional elements and modern elements”.

The traditional element relate to the high expectations of “tiger” parents, and a belief instilled in Chinese children from a young age that effort is crucial to gaining a good education.

The “modern elements” include Shanghai’s willingness to constantly adapt its curriculum and teaching practices; its focus on improving under-achieving schools by pairing them with those that excel; its openness to foreign ideas; and the introduction of performance-related pay.

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