The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has released its verdict on the state of the UK economy in its first such survey since 2005. It finds that:
Recent macroeconomic performance has been strong but economic challenges remain including improving education and skills levels, increasing labour force participation and progression, enhancing productivity growth and maintaining tax competitiveness.
Further details from the OECD site include the Executive Summary, Policy Brief, chapter by chapter summaries and details of the last survey in 2005. However the full text of the new report is not freely available online.
Intute: Social Sciences features more resources from the OECD.
The Economics Network are the latest organisation to take the plunge and get themselves a YouTube channel. They have made available a keynote from the recent DEE conference, from the Undercover Economist, Tim Harford.
The full abstract is available from their website, but I can thoroughly recommend watching Harford perform as he takes a gallop through a whole range of economic topics and some which you might not think were economic topics. He starts off by seeing if economic principles can be applied to dating.
The Economics Network also has a back catalogue of films produced by economics students as part of their Why Study Economics initiative.
Intute: Social Sciences features more Internet resources on the issue of Economics.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families has issued new advice on the issue of bullying and cyberbullying in particular.
The full guidance for teachers Safe to Learn: embedding anti-bullying work in schools, is available from the TeacherNet website, as part of their bullying subsite and includes the official policy documents, guidance on different forms of bullying and related publications.
Cyberbullying is also the topic of a new part of the DirectGov website which is aimed at those on the receiving end of such behaviour. Bill Thompson, a technology expert who writes for the BBC News website, welcomes the new advice, but wonders how easy it will be to put it into practice.
Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the issue of bullying.
Britain’s biggest-ever programme of education research has found at least some of the answers, and is sharing them with every school in Britain.
Principles into Practice, a new publication from the Teaching and Learning Research Programme, will be sent out to all schools over the next few days. It sets out the 10 principles for effective teaching and learning which the TLRP has drawn up on the basis of over 20 research projects looking at all levels of school education.
“Our research projects have looked at consulting pupils to improve motivation, using assessment to support “Learning How to Learn,” managing classroom groups to produce collaborative skills, structuring the curriculum to achieve intellectual challenge, using new technologies to expand understanding, and making use of knowledge from beyond school in more constructive ways.”
Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the TLRP
Find out more about other publications from the TLRP, read the full ESRC press release and search Intute: Social Sciences for more on the issue of Education.
The OECD has released their annual compendium of data and analysis, Education at a Glance 2007. One of the topics covered this year is the rapid expansion of higher education in OECD countries.
The 2007 edition investigates the effects of expanding tertiary education on labour markets. Graduation rates from higher education have grown significantly in OECD countries in recent decades, but has the increasing supply of well-educated workers been matched by the creation of high-paying jobs? Or will everyone with a university degree some day work for the minimum wage? These questions are discussed by Andreas Schleicher, Head of the Indicators and Analysis Division, OECD Directorate for Education
Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the topic of Higher Education.
In a busy week for the economics section of this blog, here are a few updates on recent economics research that have made it into my inbox.
Research evidence suggests that labour productivity – output per hour worked – can vary over the course of the week. According to a new study from the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), employers could therefore benefit by reorganising working time – perhaps by concentrating employees’ hours in the middle of the week or introducing greater flexibility in work schedules. And there may be productivity benefits from shifting the timing of non-religious bank holidays from Mondays to Fridays.
The report by Alex Bryson and John Forth, which is published by CEP’s Manpower Human Resources Lab, finds that: The traditional working days of Monday to Friday each account for around one sixth of the aggregate supply of working time across a typical week. Tuesday accounts for the largest share of working time (18.8%) and Friday the lowest (16.8%)
More than half – 53% – of young people aged between 11 and 15 in England say their families don’t mind them drinking alcohol as long as they don’t drink too much. But just under half – 45% – of 11-to-15 year olds say that their families wouldn’t like them to drink at all.
These are among the findings of the latest Survey of Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England, edited by Elizabeth Fuller from the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen). The results also show that young people’s drinking behaviour tends to reflect what their families think.
Britain’s trade unions no longer have the organisational resources to reach out to new workers and new workplaces, according to new research from the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP). Union membership continues to decline and, despite a series of mergers, most of them face severe financial difficulties.
But although the general picture looks bleak, there is a glimmer of hope in the handful of success stories – unions representing professional workers. The most successful unions, both in membership terms and financially, organise occupations rather than industries or workplaces, notably doctors (the British Medical Association), nurses (the Royal College of Nurses) and teachers (the National Union of Teachers).
Intute: Social Sciences features more Internet resources on the topic of economics.
In the final part of my review of the Developments in Economics Education conference, here are a few thoughts on the three keynote speeches. Keynotes can really set the tone for a conference, as they are often the only time all the delegates are together and I have to say these speeches were excellent.
Andy Ross from the Government Economic Service spoke on Educating Economists for Government. The GES is the single largest employer of economists in the country and since 1995 their numbers have tripled, showing that economists really are taking over the government. He urged economics educators to focus on the practical and policy applications of economics, to produce a new generation of economists who could not only write the notes, but read the music of economics.
David Hendry is a Professor of Economics at Nuffield College, Chairman of the Economics Department, University of Oxford and one of the most widely cited academics in the field of econometrics. He spoke on the topic of Teaching Undergraduate Econometrics and it was a classic example of taking a highly technical subject and making it entertaining, even for non-specialists. The key point he made was that technological change has enabled major advances in the fields of economic modelling and econometrics, but that in teaching it to undergraduates, they still need to be shown that is has practical implications and is not just a mathematical exercise.
Tim Harford is the FT’s ‘Undercover Economist’ and presenter of the BBC’s ‘Trust Me, I’m an Economist’ and he spoke on How can economists grab the attention of students, and keep it? Tim showed how economic principles can be applied to your love life, to help you save money in coffee shops and that giving children in developing countries basic improvements in healthcare, will improve their education outcomes more than aid that provides books, computers or foreign teachers. He challenged economics educators to use such examples in the classroom to engage students.
Audio, video and images from the keynotes will be available from the Economics Network site over the coming weeks.
Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the topic of Economics.
In the 2nd part of this weeks feature rounding up some the latest publications in the field of education, here are a few more items relating to educational research.
Are ability groups the right way to go about raising educational attainment? New research from the University of Sussex questions whether it does and asserts that setting and streaming may occur on the basis of factors other than ability.
Academics at Staffordshire University have cast doubts on the effectiveness of the Government policy of encouraging schools to become subject specialists. An extra £500 per pupil raises the proportion of pupils gaining five or more A*-C grades by only 1.5 percentage points.
Glare from classroom lighting and a number of other environmental design factors are making it harder for pupils to concentrate and potentially contributing to headaches and other health problems, according to new research from Cambridge and Essex.
The Institute of Education Sciences in the United States has released the latest data comparing the G8 countries and their education systems across a number of factors, including school enrolment, academic performance and educational returns.
The National Center for Education Statistics in the USA has issued a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from kindergarten through graduate school. The statistical highlights are excerpts from the Digest of Education of Statistics, 2006.
A new report published by Child Poverty Action Group Chicken and Egg: Child Poverty and Educational Inequality shows that children in poverty fall further behind their peers at every stage of schooling.
The Office for National Statistics has claimed that productivity in UK education has been largely flat with a rise of just 0.1% per year in the last decade, in the latest part of its Measuring Quality as Part of Public Service Output strategy.
Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the issue of Education.