Countries with high-scoring students tend to have high-quality teachers, reports the Christian Science Monitor, looking at Finland and Singapore. In both, teaching is a prestige profession open only to top students.
Only the top third of secondary-school graduates in Singapore can apply for teacher training. The National Institute of Education winnows that field down more and pays a living stipend while they learn to teach. Each year, teachers take an additional 100 hours of paid professional development. And they spend substantial time outside the classroom to plan with colleagues.
Singapore’s teachers earn as much as scientists and engineers.
Other successful education nations may: mentor new teachers; give teachers time to collaborate with colleagues and design lessons, work within a national curriculum and invest in improving teachers’ skills.