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 has 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.

Our school system is efficient and Estonian teachers are doing a very good job. The quality of teacher work is also directly linked to the content and organization of teacher training. Tallinn University has made a major contribution to this field through its 100-year history of consistent teacher training. 

A lot has changed throughout this time in teacher training. Today's teaching is complex and teachers are expected to do much more. In addition to teaching their subject, teachers are expected to broaden their skills and values alongside subject-matter knowledge (OECD, 2019). 

Teacher training at Tallinn University is based on the professionalism of the teacher and the autonomy that supports it. In addition to developing the abilities of every learner, the integration of subjects is much more important, for example through problem-based learning and clear societal competences. 

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

Read more about PISA 2018.