Is Canada Really an Education “Super-power”? The Evidence is not as Clear-cut as You Might Think…

Is Canada Really an Education “Super-power”? The Evidence is not as Clear-cut as You Might Think…

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.