Center on International Education Benchmarking

CIEB’s Recent Releases

Empowered Educators: How High-Performing Education Systems Shape Teaching Quality Around the World

From Linda Darling-Hammond and a global team of education researchers, comes this groundbreaking international comparative study of teacher and teaching quality in the world’s top-performing education systems. This three-year study investigated seven jurisdictions across four continents to produce unparalleled insights for U.S. educators, researchers and policymakers. The centerpiece of the study, Empowered Educators: How High-Performing Systems Shape Teaching Quality Around the World from Jossey-Bass publishers, is a cross-cutting analysis of all seven systems. Also from Jossey-Bass are five e-books offering deep dives into each jurisdiction studied. CIEB also provides country briefs and policy briefs based on the study here on our website, along with a robust library of authentic tools and resources the research team brought back from the field. See the full set of materials here.

Empowered Educators

Comparing International Vocational Education and Training Programs

From Ursula Renolds of the KOF Swiss Economic Institute in Zurich comes this comparative look at upper-secondary VET programs from 20 countries around the world. When it comes to managing challenges in vocational education and training—like rapid technological change, matching labor market demand for skills, attracting enrollment, and creating high-status VET programs—what differentiates the strongest and weakest VET programs is the level of linkage between actors from the education and employment systems. This report defines and measures that linkage, then uses it to compare countries’ largest upper-secondary VET programs. Click to read the policy brief or the full report which includes country profiles for each of the 20 countries studied.

The KOF Education-Employment Linkage Index, cover

Not So Elementary: Primary School Teacher Quality in Top-Performing Systems

Written by leading Australian researcher Ben Jensen, Not So Elementary: Primary School Teacher Quality in Top-Performing Systems, examines how four high-performing education jurisdictions – Finland, Hong Kong, Japan and Shanghai – are able to ensure subject matter expertise among elementary school teachers through their selection process, requirements for specialization in their initial training programs, their processes for certification of teachers, and in-school development for teachers.


Beyond PD: Teacher Professional Learning in High Performing Systems

Beyond PD: Teacher Professional Learning in High Performing Systems, also written by Australian researcher Ben Jensen, is a comparative international study of world-class teacher professional learning in some of the best systems in the world: Shanghai, British Columbia, Singapore and Hong Kong.


Developing Shanghai’s Teachers

Developing Shanghai’s Teachers, a report from former Shanghai Normal University President and Shanghai Education Commission Deputy Director Minxuan Zhang, offers an insider’s perspective into how the world-leading Shanghai education system handles teacher professional development.


Comparative Study of VET Systems

This study examines the vocational education and training (VET) systems of top performing countries, with a focus on the strategies that account for their superior quality, equity and productivity. The first three case studies are available now:

The Phoenix: Vocational Education and Training in Singapore

Made in China: Challenge and Innovation in China’s Vocational and Technical Education System

Gold Standard: The Swiss Vocational Education and Training System.


Comparative Study of Instructional Systems

Tina Isaacs of the Institute of Education at the University of London led an international comparative study of instructional systems that produced a detailed comprehensive description and analysis of the instructional systems in nine jurisdictions in six high performing countries, as measured by the 2012 PISA data, as well as in two states in the United States.



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