This week the results were announced for the Olympics of education. As they have for many years now, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan took home the medals, according to the Guardian. The contest was the quadrennial match of brainpower called the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, known fondly as the Timss, a worldwide measure of schoolchildren’s achievements, coordinated by Boston College and the non-profit International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement. In both the Timss and the other gold standard international test, the Pisa – the Programme for International Student Assessment, an OECD test of 15-year-olds’ knowledge of math, reading and science given every three years since 2000 – the same countries seem to win again and again. High-scoring countries like South Korea use technology to make connections and to share information. Teachers share ideas online and parents become more involved in their children’s instruction. The South Korean education minister recently said access to technology over the last 10 years has changed how their students relate to teachers, so they question rather than merely absorb. South Korea is obviously doing more than just that right.
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