PISA Results Confirm – Estonian Teachers and Education is at the Top of the World!

According to OECD’s PISA, Estonia students rank first in Europe in all three domains of assessment – reading, mathematics, and science.


In the world, Estonian students rank 8th in mathematics, 5th in reading and 4th in science. For such great results, we have to be thankful for our Estonian teachers.

“Since the Estonian Restoration of Independence in 1992, the key characteristics in the Estonian education system have been autonomy, both for teachers and for schools in general. Despite the oppressive past, when Estonia had long been under foreign rule, Estonians have increased their determination, their willingness to work hard and achieve more. Exceptionally good results in PISA survey are a good example of this – Estonian teachers and students believe that learning is an effort and it is taken seriously,” said Eve Eisenschmidt, Professor of Education Policy and Management at Tallinn University.

The top-ranking position in the world isn’t there by accident. Among other things, high performing systems invest relentlessly in their teachers and teacher training. Tallinn University has made a major contribution to this field throughout its 100-year history of consistent teacher training. 

There has been plenty of changes in the field of teacher training over time. Today's teaching is complex and teachers are expected to bring better and better results. In addition to teaching their subject, teachers are also expected to demonstrate their broader skills and values and abilities (OECD, 2019). The core principle of the teacher training at Tallinn University School of Educational Sciences is the professionalism of the teacher and the autonomy that supports it. In addition to developing students' skills and abilities,  more emphasis has been shifting to the integration of different subjects, for example through problem-based learning, and acquiring general competencies. 

Teacher training at Tallinn University adapts to the changes in society and in school practices and continues to do so at a high level. Estonian teachers are professionally motivated and according to the TALIS 2018 survey, the vast majority of Estonian teachers do schoolwork with a sense of mission, wanting to support their student's development and wish to contribute to Estonian society (OECD, 2019). PISA results are certainly one of the indicators that confirms this. 

Read more about Estonia's success in PISA.

Read more about School of Educational Sciences at Tallinn University.