Marc Piopiunik The OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) continually illustrates how the reading, science and mathematics performance of 15-year-olds differs across countries. Differences in teacher quality are commonly cited as a key determinant of these huge differences. In a recent study, my co-authors Eric A. Hanushek (Stanford University), Simon Wiederhold (KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt), and […]
Most of the international large-scale assessments are repeated in regular intervals. PISA is conducted every three-years, TIMSS every fourth year, and PIRLS is conducted with five-year intervals. Accordingly, this allows for comparisons within countries over time, with the objective to uncover patterns or trends and to predict future development. The achievement scores are linked over time by having a relatively large number of test questions that are repeated. This makes it possible to anchor subsequent test scores with the previous ones. In addition, sections of the same background questionnaires are repeated over time to also capture changes in the learning context, demographics etc.
When the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results are released every three years, it is now little surprise that a set of East Asian nations (e.g. Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea) dominate the top spots in these rankings. These nations typically substantially outperform most English-speaking Western nations, with one important exception – Canada. This has not gone unnoticed by policymakers and the education media. Indeed, after the release of the PISA 2015 results, Canada was described as an “education superpower” with various theories (from the strong academic performance of immigrants through to high levels of student motivation) put forward to explain this result. Indeed Andreas Schleicher – the man who has led the OECD’s PISA programme – suggesting that the strong commitment to equity in Canada is the key.
The education community across the globe is anticipating the release of the latest PISA rankings. These gauge the progress being made by 15-year-olds in reading, science and mathematics across a wide selection of developed and developing countries. One of the widely-acknowledged limitations of PISA as a measure of educational quality is that it covers only a limited range of outputs from an education system. There is hence a threat that, if countries focus efforts upon maximising performance in the PISA tests, then they may divert attention away from important (yet unmeasured) contributions of education to wider society. This includes, for instance, the development of morals and civic engagement. Indeed, in this blog we provide new evidence on the discrepancy between the performance of countries in PISA and children’s knowledge of civics.
Looking into whether evidence from PISA supports recent claims
Wolfram Schulz & Julian Fraillon What is ICILS 2018 about? ICILS is a large-scale, international assessment of grade 8 students’ computer and information literacy and computational thinking skills. It addresses a question of critical importance: how well are students prepared for study, work, and life in a digital world? 46,000 students and 26,000 teachers from […]
Can the use of computers in the classroom take learning to a new level? The emergence of computer-based teaching methods has raised high expectations. Will the next generation of digital natives learn much quicker and better when technology is involved? Most previous studies have arrived at one surprising answer: No. Most scholars find little to no effect of classroom computers on student achievement.
Monica Rosén & Jan-Eric Gustafsson Currently, there is much discussion about the effects of “screen time” and computer use on children’s learning and development. Opinions are divided, not only between children and their parents, but also between researchers who report contradictory findings. While some report positive effects on children’s development of knowledge and skills, others […]