BECAUSE I teach a lot of students all around the globe, I've been thinking a good deal about how different countries think about their schools. As I go from place to place, it's clear that countries differ greatly on their degree of investment.
Naturally, I'd really like to see some data about this. It's too easy to be impressed by one or two school visits, but not have any real sense for how an entire country actually manages their schools.
That led me to create the following graph as an example of the kind of data I'm looking for.
This is a chart of some data from a reputable source that shows a measure of how much four different countries (Serbia, the US, Singapore, Finland) spend on their schools. The number is measure of how much is spent per pupil as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product per capita. It shows (more-or-less) how much investment a country puts into its school system.
There's an interesting paradoxical result here, though. Singapore and Finland both have highly regarded school systems, but Finland (and the US) spend about 2X as much as Singapore on each student. Then Serbia spends about 6X as much as Singapore!
Today's challenge has two parts....
1. Can you find the data on which my graph is built? And, once you find it, can you create a chart showing the investment-per-pupil for Serbia, Singapore, US, Finland (and maybe one or two other countries of your choice)?
2. If you've got the time and inclination, can you discover why Singapore manages to spend so little per student, and still have a great school system? (This is clearly extra credit.)