A View Inside Primary Schools : A World Education Indicators (WEI) cross-national study
Postlethwaite, T. Neville
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The World Education Indicators' Survey of Primary Schools (WEI-SPS) offers unique insight into the classrooms of 11 diverse countries* in order to understand and monitor the factors shaping the quality and equality of primary education. It examines the main issues and inputs shaping primary schools: the background characteristics of pupils; demographic and educational characteristics of teachers and school heads; school resources and conditions; instructional time; school management; teaching and learning styles in the classroom; as well as learning opportunities provided to pupils. The survey was designed to ensure that these data could be compared internationally. It serves as a valuable resource for everyone interested in education quality and equity – from policymakers to teachers and academics. As part of the WEI programme, the study is the result of a collaborative effort amongst participating countries, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and leading international experts. The WEI programme aims to develop a critical mass of policy-relevant education indicators and includes special projects, such as this survey, to broaden the scope and comparability of education data. By analyzing the diverse components and issues shaping policies and programmes regarding primary schools, the study can be used to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of educational systems. Furthermore, the comparative nature of the study allows each participating country to evaluate its position in relation to others in terms of the inputs, policies and processes of schools. These comparisons must obviously be interpreted within the unique traditions and contexts of each education system. But this framework will serve as a resource now and in the years to come for those committed to improving educational quality and equality.
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