Pearson Foundation and OECD expand "Strong Performers and Successful Reformers" video series

Six new documentary films highlight local achievements of successful education systems around the world.

(Paris) -- Today, the Pearson Foundation and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced the extension of their investigative film series that documents successful education initiatives currently improving student learning in classrooms around the world. Six new films now available bringing the total number of films in the series to ten.

"Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education" profiles policies and programs that local education leaders credit with improving student achievement – success documented by the strong performance of their countries in the latest PISA assessment. Each short film presents concrete solutions that have helped each educational system to identify and teach the skills students need to succeed in an increasingly global, interconnected economy.

The six films added to the collection build upon four initial profiles of the educational systems in Finland, Ontario, Canada, Poland, and Shanghai, China. The collection now includes profiles of educational innovations in:

  • Brazil, where the federal government has launched a major effort to improve education, increase spending in classrooms and on teacher salaries, improve teacher quality and provide extra help to get poorer children into classrooms.
  • Germany, where the traditional three-tiered school system began a massive reform, beginning at the earliest grade levels.
  • Japan, where in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami disaster of March 2011, education authorities are encouraging more independent thinking and discussion in classrooms in order to help students develop 21st century problem-solving skills to face the uncertainties and challenges of the future.
  • Korea, where building on the successes of its fast-developing ICT sector, the government is using digital technology to stimulate a creative approach that moves from uniform and standardized education to diversified, creativity-based learning that gives students access to education materials wherever and whenever they want.
  • Portugal, where reorganizing, modernizing and grouping schools in 'clusters' has resulted in better facilities for all. Between 2006 and 2010, more than 2500 small primary schools were closed, existing schools were expanded, or new schools were built with better facilities.
  • Singapore, where forward-looking policies benchmark Singapore's practices against the best in the world while also taking into account the local context.

In all, the ten films in the "Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education" video series provide a detailed look behind the PISA data, documenting insights into the systemic policies and practices that have distinguished each country's local educational system.

"These films help share methods with the potential to improve student success not just locally, but in classrooms around the world," said Andreas Schleicher, Special Advisor on Education Policy to the OECD's Secretary-General and OECD Deputy Director of Education. "Collectively, they do something just as important: they help to show that significant gains in student improvement are possible in all countries, even in those countries not already at the top of the PISA assessment."

"This new set of films provide an broad view of specific successful practices of educational systems around the world," said Mark Nieker, President and CEO of the Pearson Foundation. "Taken together, the ten films provide the beginnings of a global view if the systemic approaches and strategies that are improving the fortunes of young people, and societies, in countries around the world."

The "Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education" films can be viewed online at DVD copies may also be obtained directly from the OECD, and from the Pearson Foundation.

About OECD

In 2011 the OECD celebrated its 50th anniversary of promoting better policies for better lives. The OECD's core missions are to assist governments design and implement policies that will improve people's economic and social well-being and help them work together in a coordinated manner towards a stronger, cleaner and fairer global economy. The OECD provides a forum in which governments can share policy experiences and seek solutions to common problems. For more information, please see:

About the Pearson Foundation

The Pearson Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that aims to make a difference by promoting literacy, learning, and great teaching. The Pearson Foundation collaborates with leading businesses, non-profits, and education experts to share good practice; foster innovation; and find workable solutions to the educational disadvantages facing young people and adults across the globe. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at