We Must Lead!

Confirming what we know

The data from the latest PISA report based on 2015 results confirm “teachers educate for life, and their work is more effective if they can establish rewarding relationships with students”.

PISA data show that students' anxiety related to school assignments and tests is a major issue in all countries, and that this anxiety is inversely correlated with students' achievement and their perceptions of the quality of their life.

On average across OECD countries, about 64%of girls and 47% of boys reported that they feel very anxious even if they are well prepared for a test.

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Students who perceive that their teacher provides individual help when they are struggling were less likely to report feeling tense or anxious. By contrast, students were about 60% more likely to report that they feel very tense when studying if they perceive that their teacher thinks they are less able than they really are.

Such large-scale analysis leaves little doubt of the value of engaging fully with students – using the practice of encounter – to help them quieten down their childhood minds and allow the adult mind to take full control. This is as much a part of education as is the curriculum and cognitive skills.

For teachers to be able to do this with students, they themselves need to experience it from their colleagues and especially from their leaders.

John Corrigan