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Teaching children how to learn vital – OECD report

1 October 2003
Media Statement

Teaching children how to learn vital – OECD report

Teaching children how to learn from an early age both in the home and at school is vital to their life-long learning and ongoing success according to an international report, Education Minister Trevor Mallard says.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) thematic report on how 15 year olds approach learning in relation to how well they perform in reading literacy was released internationally last night.

Trevor Mallard said the Learners for Life – Student Approaches for Learning report, which is part of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), provided further evidence to support New Zealand’s ongoing focus on quality teaching.

“The report tells us that if we deliberately teach our children how to learn, by processing information effectively and becoming self-regulated learners, we can reduce the performance gaps that we know exist between students from different family backgrounds,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Strong similarities exist between the report’s findings to those outlined in the Quality Teaching Best Evidence Synthesis and the work the Ministry of Education is doing in the New Zealand Curriculum Project and schooling improvement programmes.

“This PISA report, in which New Zealand students participated, provides us with rich data from which to benchmark our students’ performance against students from other participating countries.

“The report found that students with a strong interest in reading, or strong self confidence, or students who used strategies to self-regulate their learning showed a considerably higher reading performance.

“According to the report, New Zealand students on average had larger differences in performance than most other countries, between those students who were strong in these areas, compared to students who were weak in these areas.

“I am pleased the findings from this report will be used by the ministry to develop and target teacher support and professional development programmes in Literacy and Numeracy, and across the full range of curriculum areas, ” Trevor Mallard said.

The report can be accessed at Related research is available at


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