Sit down and shut up while I tell you.
One interesting take on this compares countries cross-sectionally to get insight into performance drivers. A colleague dug up Educational Policy and Country Outcomes in International Cognitive Competence Studies. Two pictures from the path analysis are interesting:
Note the central role of discipline. Interestingly, the study also finds that self-report of pleasure reading is negatively correlated with performance. Perhaps that’s a consequence of getting performance through discipline rather than self-directed interest? (It works though.)
More interesting, though, is that practically everything is weak, except the educational level of society – a big positive feedback.
I find this sort of analysis quite interesting, but if I were a teacher, I think I’d be frustrated. In the aggregate international data, there’s precious little to go on when it comes to deciding, “what am I going to do in class today?”