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pisa4u - The Online Programme for School Improvement

  • Start: March 16, 2017
  • Language:English
  • Certificate: Yes
  • Cost:Free of charge


Participation in teams is CLOSED

Programme Outline

  • Be part of an international community of innovative education professionals and teachers like yourself
  • Learn from education experts from around the world 
  • Be guided by a Mentor throughout the programme
  • Improve your teaching and solve real problems you face in your daily work
  • Discover resources that will help prepare your students for 21st century careers
  • Earn a PISA Certificate


The OECD and PISA would like to invite you to pisa4u, the Online Programme for School Improvement. This unique professional development opportunity is available free of charge to educational practitioners of all types, such as teachers, administrators, education policy actors, and educational researchers from around the globe. However, parents, students, and other interested parties are welcome to become contributors as well. The focus of the programme is to build a global network of educators that will act as a driving force for making meaningful impact in school systems internationally, and at every level.

What you can expect:

As a participant in the programme, you will be part of a small team of passionate educators like you. With your team, you will move through a series of assignments and develop innovative solutions that can be implemented in school environments (including your own). You will have special access to quality insights from leading international experts in education, as well as the expertise and best practices of pioneering educational institutions from Singapore, Malta, Arizona, and Israel. Throughout the programme, your team will be assisted by a dedicated Mentor, who will act as your trusted guide and point of contact for help.
After successfully submitting all 5 assignments, you and your team will receive a Certificate from the OECD’s PISA team, which will position you as a leader for change in your school environment.

How it works:

The programme will run on a unique online learning platform engineered by candena to provide a collaborative environment where educators from around the world can connect, learn, and design solutions with one another. You can access the learning environment anytime from a desktop or a mobile device. Together with your team, you’ll decide on the best times to collaborate so that pisa4u fits flexibly your schedule!
Be a key player in shaping this unique community and contributing to its global impact. We are excited to embark on this journey for school innovation together with you!


You might benefit by also looking into:

OECD Test for Schools

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Test for Schools, based on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), gives you insight into how your students perform in the core subjects of maths, reading, and science compared to other schools throughout the nation and the world. Find out more

The OECD Test for Schools is also known as "PISA-based Test for Schools” in the UK, and “PISA for Schools” in Spain.

Global Learning Network

The Global Learning Network (GLN) is a learning community of well-respected educators and district leaders who have taken the OECD Test for Schools, learned from their results and global best practices, and made practice shifts that contribute to improved student outcomes. Find out more

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Programme Format

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Join a network of educators

Engage with a growing network of education professionals from around the world who all share your goal of making a meaningful impact on education today.

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Team up with others

Take part in dynamic exchanges and collaboration by opting to work with a team of like-minded educators who share your goal of improving education.

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Work with real cases

Project-based learning gives you real-world insight. Define your own challenge and learn from the insights and experience of pioneering schools from Singapore, Malta, Arizona, and Israel.

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Learn from experts

Benefit from experts in education practice and policy from around the world, and a Mentor who will ensure you have the proper guidance, direction, and support to connect and succeed.

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Earn a PISA Certificate

Successfully completing the programme in a team gives you the unique opportunity to gain the PISA Certificate that enables you to stand out as a leader for school improvement in your school.

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Develop your skills

Embark on a journey of training that challenges you and your team to gain a deeper understanding of topics that matter to you. Receive valuable feedback from an international community of peers.

Programme Timeline

week 1

Getting Ready

Get to know your team members and develop your team profile together. Identify your goals and uncover the main challenges you face in your classrooms or school environments today.

Assignment 1
week 2 - 3 - 4

Identify your Specific Challenge

Define the unique challenge you want to solve together with your team. Present this challenge to the learning community and learn about the specific problems other teachers are facing.

Assignment 2
week 5 - 6 - 7

Understand the Problem

Move deeper into clarifying your challenge with support from your mentor and a library of resources. Uncover what factors influence the problem and break it down into manageable components.

Assignment 3
week 8 - 9 - 10

Design a Teaching Resource

Find your own solution and create a teaching resource that you can bring with you into your day-to-day environment. Receive guidance from the community who will help you in your design.

Assignment 4
week 11 - 12

Put your Resource to the Test

Test and refine the resource you’ve developed with your team. Take your ideas into your teaching environments and gain structured feedback that will allow you to find a new perspective.

Assignment 5
week 13 - 14 - 15

Finalize your Resource

Make final refinements to your resource and be inspired by what other teams have developed in the community. Create a presentation for the PISA team. At the end of the programme, one team will be invited to Paris to present their work to PISA!


pisa4u by candena_Andreas Schleicher Photo

Andreas Schleicher


Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills. Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at OECD.
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Tue Halgreen


PISA Analyst and Project Manager for the OECD’s PISA-Based Test for Schools programme.
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Richard Li


Education Policy Analyst at OECD involved in work on OECD’s PISA-Based Test for Schools programme. 
People Jdale 200 2002

Jack Dale

Fairfax County Public Schools

United States

Former Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools - a 181,500 student school system, the 12th largest in the United States.
Jon Schnur Headshot2

Jon Schnur

America Achieves

United States

Executive chairman and co-founder of America Achieves, the co-founder and former CEO of New Leaders, currently serves on its Board of Directors.
Prof Tan Oon Seng Dir Des Nie 2014 Nieweb

Prof. Oon Seng Tan

National Institute of Education


Director of National Institute of Education, Professor of Psychological Studies, Editor-in-Chief in Educational Research for Policy and Practice (ERPP).

Prof Low Ee Ling Website

Prof. Ee Ling Low

National Institute of Education


Professor of Applied Linguistics and Teacher Learning at the English Language & Literature Academic Group at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Head of Strategic Planning & Academic Quality (SPAQ).
Haim Harari pisa4u

Prof. Haim Harari

Weizmann Institute of Science


A theoretical physicist who has made contributions in particle physics, science education, and other fields. Initiated and led the establishment of several unique educational Institutions, including HEMDA Science Center in Tel Aviv.
Peter Adams pisa4u

Peter Adams


Senior PISA Manager, previously a manager of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority where he introduced the National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN).


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Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Who developed the programme?

A: This programme was developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in collaboration with CANDENA, Europe’s leading provider of collaborative online learning solutions.

Q: Who can participate in this programme?

A: Pisa4u, the Online Programme for School Improvement is available to teachers and other educational professionals such as administrators, education policy actors, managers, and educational researchers from around the globe.

Q: What is PISA and the PISA-based Test for Schools (PISA TfS)?

A: The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students. PISA is unique because it develops tests which are not directly linked to the school curriculum. The tests are designed to assess to what extent students at the end of compulsory education can apply their knowledge to real-life situations and be equipped for full participation in society.

The PISA-based Test for Schools is a student assessment tool, used by schools to support research, benchmarking and school improvement. It provides descriptive information and analyses on the skills and creative application of knowledge of 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics, and science comparable to main PISA scales. It also provides information on how factors within and outside of school are linked to student performance.

Q: Does my school need to have participated in the PISA Test for Schools in order for me to take part in this programme?

A: No. If your school has not participated in the PISA TfS, you will still be able to benefit from the community and resources in the programme and learn how to make a positive change in your school environment. As part of the programme, you will also learn how to gain valuable insight from PISA TfS data which your school can use to understand how factors within and outside of the classroom are linked to student performance.

Q: Will I be able to develop an analysis of my own school’s PISA TfS data?

A: Yes. If provided by your school, you will be able to work exclusively with your school’s PISA TfS data throughout the programme and create teaching resources that you can tailor to your school’s specific needs.

Q: Will this programme be offered in any other languages?

A: This programme is currently offered in English. The learning materials and candena learning platform are in English. However, in their teams participants can communicate among themselves in a language of their preference. 


Q: How will the programme be structured?

A: Working in a team, you will be asked to move through a sequence of assignments that will help you identify and work on a challenge at your school. You will be able to access a library of examples of school cases and a vibrant community of education professionals that have dealt with these topics to help you gain fresh insight and share best practices with.

Q: Can I work on my own?

A: Participants who signed up for participation in teamwork are matched in teams and work on all required assignments in their team. However, you might also sign up as a participant without a team (Supporter) and therefore have a more flexible mode of participation and act as an auditor of the programme. Even though without a team you won’t be able to submit any work to the programme staff, you can still play a key role in engaging in the community network via peer feedback and discussion. All participants have access to all programme materials (video keynotes, case schools, reading material etc.) as well as to the global community of education practitioners.

Q: Will I receive certification at the end of the programme?

A: Yes. Upon successful completion of the programme, you will be eligible for a Certificate from PISA which will mark your participation in the programme and enable you to stand out as a leader in school improvement in your school environment.

Q: How much time will this programme require?

A: The amount of time that you spend on the programme is up to you. In this community everybody is able to decide individually their level of contribution according to how much time they wish to spend on engaging with programme materials, interacting with others on the platform, and contributing to their team’s contribution. However, keep in mind that teamwork is an important element in this programme and that your team members will depend on you to ensure success. To make the most of this unique experience, we recommend investing at least 2-5 hours per week.


Q: How can I collaborate and communicate with my team?

A: candena will provide an online learning platform which enables both collaboration and communication with the entire learning community. You will be able to connect with your peers and experts directly as well as take part in group discussions in your team or in the overall community.

Q: Do I need to participate in a team?

A: We highly recommend you to do so! We believe that the best solutions are developed when people come together, bringing the diversity of their experiences and ideas to the table to work towards a shared goal. Those who register as participants working in teams will move through the programme in a team of five education professionals. Those who register as participants without teams will not be able to submit their work to the programme staff, and will mostly be able to collaborate with others in the programme by providing feedback to teams and taking part in group discussions.

Q: Will anyone be able to assist me throughout the programme?

A: Yes. A personal Mentor is assigned to your team to provide guidance as you make your way through the programme. Your Mentor gives you meaningful feedback on your work at each stage of the programme and is available for questions that might come up as a result of your collaboration with the learning community.