What data tells us about improving student educational outcomes

Students education, improve education, improve student educational outcome, improve student results

Educators, Politicians, Teachers, and Parents all over the world want the next generation to apply their understanding of Math, Science, and Language. Still, providing quality education and improving educational outcomes has proved to be complicated. A few governments have managed huge leaps, but most continue to struggle. Educators continue to figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to improving student educational outcomes. In this blog, we are looking to summarize findings of global consulting leader McKinsey & Co’s research on improving education outcomes for students. Mckinsey has taken a data-driven approach to some of the most argued debates. The data comes from the PISA(Program for International Student Assessments), which is supervised by the OECD(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). PISA covered more than half a million students in up to 72 countries in 2015.

These are the summarised findings of the research:

1. The right mindsets matter more than socioeconomic background

 It is not a new finding that a student’s mindset impacts their academic record. The question is, how much? To answer that question, We look at two categories that are supposedly heavily impactful on a student’s PISA score: Home environments and Student mindsets and behaviors. The mindset of the students surveyed proved to be more than twice as predictive of the assessment score than even the home environment. Another finding in the mindset study was that those who can recognize the need to prepare for class, do more than expected, and work to perfection outperform those who do not by about 13%. A striking discovery was that such a mindset would make all the difference for a student in low socioeconomic conditions. It can almost vault them in a top socioeconomic state in terms of test scores.

The conclusion: The right or wrong mindset can make or break the student, regardless of social and economic circumstances. 

2. A blend of teacher-directed and inquiry-based instruction has better outcomes

 There are predominantly two teaching methods in traditional schools: Teacher-directed and Inquiry-based. In a teacher-directed environment, the teacher takes a lead role and explains lessons, experiments, and hypotheses. In an inquiry-based institution, students take on the leading role and explain terms and definitions in their own words, posing questions, experiments, and hypotheses of their own. According to the study, the educational outcomes from a teacher-directed method were better than those from an inquiry-based class, which proves a terrible case for inquiry-based institutions. But diving deeper into the data, we find that there is a sweet spot in schools that incorporate a mix of the two teaching methods. The score results were not only better than those from inquiry-based teaching but also better than Teacher-directed classrooms. Most of the subjects in these sweet spot institutions are teacher-driven, with students posing their explanations to problems. And a few of the subjects are tilting to the other side, with students mostly playing the lead role, and the teacher helps the students out in figuring out the concepts on their own.

The conclusion: Even if your school or coaching class does not incorporate both the learning methods, try to incorporate them into your daily studying routine. Keep on asking questions to your teacher that come to your mind to optimize your educational performance.

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