How teachers teach and students learn: successful strategies for school
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Alfonso Echazarra, Dr Daniel Salinas, Ildefonso Méndez, Vanessa Denis and Giannina Rech

This paper examines how particular teaching and learning strategies are related to pupil performance on specific PISA questions, particularly in mathematics. The report compares teacher-directed instruction and memorisation strategies to pupil-oriented instruction and elaboration strategies. Other teaching strategies, such as formative assessment and cognitive activation, and learning approaches are also analysed.

The analysis suggests that to perform well, pupils cannot rely on memory alone, and that they need to approach mathematics strategically and creatively to succeed. It finds that pupils need to learn from teachers, be informed about their progress; work independently and collaboratively; and above all, they need to be constantly challenged.

The report shows that some learning strategies appear to work better for some mathematical problems than for others. It also shows that combining strategies appears the best overall strategy: one that gives pupils enough direction and strategic thinking for easier mathematics problems, and enough motivation and creativity for the more complex problems.

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Alfonso Echazarra, Dr Daniel Salinas, Ildefonso Méndez, Vanessa Denis and Giannina Rech

Published by:
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Date of publication:
March 2016

Country of origin:

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This report compares, different strategies for effective teaching and learning, with particular reference to mathematics. It will be of interest to most teachers, but particularly those who teach maths.

International survey data.


Record ID:
R231 / 335
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