Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The digital divide? PISA survey 2012

The OECD’s PISA 2012 tested more than 510,000 students in 65 countries and economies on maths, reading and science. 

The main focus was on maths. Math proficiency is a strong predictor of positive outcomes for young adults. It influences their ability to participate in post-secondary education and their expected future earnings.

The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) focuses on young people's ability to use their knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges. 

PISA 2012 Results
What students can do

This orientation reflects a change in the goals and objectives of curricula themselves, which are increasingly concerned with what students can do with what they learn at school and not merely with whether they have mastered specific curricular content. 

Since the year 2000, every three years, fifteen-year-old students from randomly selected schools worldwide take tests in the key subjects: reading, mathematics and science, with a focus on one subject in each year of assessment. 

The latest set of results from the 2012 data collection (PISA 2012) focuses on mathematics. 

The 2015 assessment will focus on science literacy. The information collected through background questionnaires also provides context which can help analysts interpret the results.

Asian countries outperform the rest of the world in the OECD's latest PISA survey, which evaluates the knowledge and skills of the world's 15-year-olds. "With high levels of youth unemployment, rising inequality and a pressing need to boost growth in many countries, it's more urgent than ever that young people learn the skills they need to succeed," said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

China Shangai region easily beats rest of world in maths, reading and science, according to OECD education rankings.

 Photograph: Stringer Shanghai/REUTERS

Asia rising economic success has helped China's hi-tech corridor to take a clear lead in the latest OECD international education rankings.
The results of the OECD's programme for international student assessment – a triennial exam for 15-year-olds known as Pisa – show that China's Shanghai region easily tops the rest of the world in maths, reading and science.
Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea made up the rest of the top five for maths, followed by Macao.

Key features of PISA 2012
  • Content:
The PISA 2012 survey focused on mathematics, with reading, science and problem-solving minor areas of assessment. For the first time, PISA 2012 also included an assessment of the financial literacy of young people.
  • Participating countries and economies:
All 34 OECD member countries and 31 partner countries and economies participated in PISA 2012, representing more than 80% of the world economy.
  • Participating students:
Around 510 000 students between the ages of 15 years 3 months and 16 years 2 months completed the assessment in 2012, representing about 28 million 15-year-old in the schools of the 65 participating countries and economies. 
  • The assessment:
Paper-based tests were used, with assessments lasting two hours. In a range of countries and economies, an additional 40 minutes were devoted to the computer-based assessment of mathematics, reading and problem solving.

Test items were a mixture of questions requiring students to construct their own responses and multiple-choice items. The items were organised in groups based on a passage setting out a real-life situation. A total of about 390 minutes of test items were covered, with different students taking different combinations of test items.

The full survey can be read online

The tablet contents Book I can be consulted here

Languages: ava
ilable in English; French; German.

Other resources:

PISA Compare your country - PISA 2012: Understand what works in education

The OECD website offers you the exploration PISA 2012 Mathematics Test Questions.

Same as The Guardian: Are you smarter than a 15-year-old? Try some of the OECD PISA questions 

Some thoughts:

Whatever our opinion on Pisa's methodology, there is one very interesting indicator to reflect on: equity. 

How does initial education reduce or increase social inequities? 

Pisa is just not a school test: it gathers extensive data students' social background, how they approach learning and the characteristics if their schools. This helps develop a full picture of the many social economic and cultural factors that help determinate how well students do in school.

As you know, the European countries education increased social inequalities due the economical crisis. 

I wrote about it on Éducation: parole aux enfants victimes d'exclusion; Child poverty in develped countries; The Hard Times generation.

VISIR | ICT for Learning in Europe

On in my presentation at VISIR workshop in Brussels, on the 19 March 2012 at the European Forum on Learning Futures and Innovation, I shared my concern:

"Poverty is clearly a factor in poor access to digital learning technologies and poor performance at school. The link between the two cannot be ignored."

2012 statistics shown the digital divide as a major issue for some developed countries' young people.

Many students in the European countries, such as United Kingdom, France, Portugal live in poverty.

In Portugal, where I was educated and live, it is an unfortunate reality and that increases social inequities in school education. Inequity increase was already the conclusion from the previous study. 

Not only in Portugal. In the United Kingdom, in France too where commentators describe the "French educational system as a system of apartheid"

Read on Café Pédagogique, L'EXPRESSO, G. Felouzis, a sociologist who worked inequality in school education.

And I conclude at the VISIR workshop

" Digital divide can harm poor students' education." PISA report shows I was right, unfortunately.

Certainly, our countries are concerned with responding effectively to the educational needs of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.

While HE teachers are involved in research activities, Primary and Secondary teachers are involved in minimize the digital vs. economical inequality by the art and passion on teaching.

"The transformative power of an excellent teacher is something everyone understands and appreciates on a personal level. High-quality teachers are essential for school improvement and extremely valuable for students' learning."

Andreas Schleicher
Special Advisor on Education Policy, OECD


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The digital divide? PISA survey 2012 by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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