The Learning Curve: education and skills for life

Organisation(s): Economist Intelligence Unit (UK)

Publisher(s): Pearson

Date: 2014

Pages: 24 p.


This report, published by Pearson and written by The Economist Intelligence Unit, is part of a wide-ranging programme of quantitative and qualitative analysis, entitled The Learning Curve. It seeks to distil some of the major lessons on the links between education and skill development, retention and use. Underlying this report are the findings from the analysis of a large body of internationally comparable education data – The Learning Curve Data Bank (LCDB). First compiled in 2012, the LCDB has been updated in early 2014 to include, among other indicators, the latest test results from: the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS); the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS); the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA); and the initial output from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), which looks at cognitive skill levels across the population. The Economist Intelligence Unit has also updated the associated Global Index of Cognitive Skills and Educational Attainment, which compares the education outputs of countries. The report also draws on extensive desk research, as well as in-depth interviews conducted with seven experts in education. The report considers what new lessons we have learned about how to inculcate skills in students; it examines how to maintain or expand skill levels among adults and explores the relevance of developed-world answers to these questions for emerging markets.

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