- Programme for International Student Assessment
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a triennial world-wide test of 15-year-old schoolchildren's scholastic performance, the implementation of which is coordinated by the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD).
The aim of the PISA study is to test and compare schoolchildren's performance across the world, with a view to improving educational methods and outcomes.
Development and implementation
Developed from 1997, the first PISA assessment was carried out in 2000. The tests are taken every three years. Every period of assessment specialises in one particular subject, but also tests the other main areas studied. The subject specialisation is rotated through each PISA cycle.
2000, 265 000 students from 32 countries took part in PISA; 28 of them were OECD member countries. In 2002 the same tests were taken by 11 more "partner" countries (i.e. non-OECD members). The main focus of the 2000 tests was reading literacy, with two thirds of the questions being on that subject.
PISA’s debut round in 2000 was delivered on OECD’s behalf by an international consortium of research and educational institutions led by the
Australian Council for Educational Research(ACER). It continued to lead the design and implementation of subsequent rounds of PISA for OECD.
Over 275 000 students took part in PISA
2003, which was conducted in 41 countries, including all 30 OECD countries. (Britain data collection however, failed to meet PISA’s quality standards and so the UK was not included in the international comparisons.) The focus was mathematicsliteracy, testing real-life situations in which mathematics is useful. Problem solvingwas also tested for the first time.
2006, 57 countries participated, and the main focus of PISA 2006 was scienceliteracy. Results are due out in late 2007. Researchers have begun preparation for 2009, in which reading literacy will again be the main focus, giving the first opportunity to measure improvements in that domain. At last count (end-March 2007), about 63 countries were set to participate in PISA 2009. It is anticipated that more countries will join in before 2009.
Development of the methodology and procedures required to implement the PISA survey in all participating countries are led by ACER. It also leads in developing and implementing sampling procedures and assisting with monitoring sampling outcomes across these countries. The assessment instruments fundamental to PISA’s Reading, Mathematics, Science, Problem-solving, Computer-based testing, background and contextual questionnaires are similarly constructed and refined by ACER. ACER also develops purpose-built software to assist in sampling and data capture, and analyses all data.
The process of seeing through a single PISA cycle, start-to-finish, takes over 4 years.
Comparison with TIMSS and PIRLS
Another international mathematics assessment test is the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study [http://timss.bc.edu/ (TIMSS)] , undertaken by the International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). Results from the TIMSS often contradict results of the PISA test. The PISA mathematics literacy test asks students to apply their mathematical knowledge to solve problems set in various real-world contexts. To solve the problems students must activate a number of mathematical competencies as well as a broad range of mathematical content knowledge. TIMSS, on the other hand, measures more traditional classroom content such as an understanding of fractions and decimals and the relationship between them. It divides mathematical domains into two dimensions: first, the applied-knowledge "cognitive domains" and secondly more traditional "contents domains". The cognitive domains it covers are "Knowing Facts and Procedures, Using Concepts, Solving Routine Problems and Reasoning", and the contents domains are "Number, Algebra, Measurement, Geometry and Data". The latter reflect "the importance of being able to continue comparisons of achievement with previous assessments in these content domains" ( [http://timss.bc.edu/timss2003i/PDF/t03_AF_math.pdf TIMSS Assessment Framework 2003, pdf] ) PISA argues that international assessment should not be restricted to a set body of knowledge. Instead, it deals with education's application to real-life problems and life-long learning.
In reading literacy, the equivalent to TIMSS is the
Progress in International Reading Literacy Studyor PIRLS. According to the OECD: "OECD/PISA does not measure the extent to which 15-year-old students are fluent readers or how competent they are at word recognition tasks or spelling". Instead, they should be able to "construct, extend and reflect on the meaning of what they have read across a wide range of continuous and non-continuous texts" ( [http://www.pisa.oecd.org/dataoecd/38/52/33707212.pdf Chapter 2 of the publication "PISA 2003 Assessment Framework", pdf] ) PIRLS, on the other hand, describes reading literacy as "the ability to understand and use those written language forms required by society and/or valued by the individual." ( [http://timss.bc.edu/PDF/Chap1.pdf Chapter 1 of PIRLS 2006 Assessment Framework, pdf] )-- PIRLS includes "using" language forms in reading literacy. However, according to the IEA, in scoring the PIRLS tests, "the focus is solely on students’ understanding of the text, not on their ability to write well." ( [http://timss.bc.edu/PDF/Chap4.pdf Chapter 4 of PIRLS 2006 Assessment Framework, pdf] ).
Method of testing
The students tested by PISA are aged between 15 years and 3 months and 16 years and 2 months at the beginning of the assessment period. The school year pupils are in is not taken into consideration. Only students at school are tested, not home-schoolers. In PISA 2006 , however, several countries also used a grade-based sample of students. This made it possible also to study how age and school year interact.
Each student takes a two-hour handwritten test. Part of the test is multiple-choice and part involves fuller answers. In total there are six and a half hours of assessment material, but each student is not tested on all the parts. Participating students also answer a questionnaire on their background including learning habits, motivation and family. School directors also fill in a questionnaire describing school demographics, funding etc.
Criticism has ensued in Luxembourg which scored quite low, over the method used in its PISA test. Although being a trilingual country, the test was not allowed to be done in Luxembourgish, the mother tongue of a majority of students.
The results of each period of assessment normally take at least a year to be analysed. The first results for PISA 2000 came out in
2001(OECD, 2001a) and 2003 (OECD, 2003c), and were followed by thematic reports studying particular aspects of the results. The evaluation of PISA 2003 was published in two volumes: "Learning for Tomorrow’s World: First Results from PISA 2003" (OECD, 2004) and "Problem Solving for Tomorrow’s World – First Measures of Cross-Curricular Competencies from PISA 2003" (OECD, 2004d)
Here is an overview of the top six scores in 2003:|
Professor Jouni Välijärviwas in charge of the Finnish PISA study: he believed that the high Finnish score was due both to the excellent Finnish teachers and to Finland's 1990s LUMA programmewhich was developed to improve children's skills in mathematics and natural sciences. He also drew attention to the Finnish school system which teaches the same curriculumto all pupils. Indeed individual Finnish students' results did not vary a great deal and all schools had similar scores.
An evaluation of the 2003 results showed that the countries which spent more on education did not necessarily do better than those which spent less.
Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Japan, Koreaand the Netherlandsspent less but did relatively well, whereas the United States spent much more but was below the OECD average. The Czech Republic, in the top ten, spent only one third as much per student as the United States did, for example, but the USA came 24th out of 29 countries compared.
Compared with 2000,
Poland, Belgium, the Czech Republicand Germanyall improved their results. In fact, apparently due to the changes to the school system introduced in the educational reform of 1999, Polish students had above average reading skills in PISA 2003; in PISA 2000 they were near the bottom of the list.
Another point made in the evaluation was that students with higher-earning parents are better-educated and tend to achieve higher results. This was true in all the countries tested, although more obvious in certain countries, such as Germany.
= 2006 survey =Here is an overview of the 20 places with the highest scores in 2006:
Reactions to the results
For many countries, the first PISA results were a nasty surprise; in Germany, for example, the comparatively low scores brought on heated debate about how the school system should be changed. Other countries had an agreeable surprise. Some headlines in national newspapers, for example, were:
*"La France, élève moyen de la classe OCDE" (France, average student of the OECD class) "
Le Monde", December 5, 2001
*"Miserable Noten für deutsche Schüler" (Abysmal marks for German students) "
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", December 4, 2001
*"Are we not such dunces after all?" "
The Times", England, December 6, 2001
*"Economic Time Bomb: U.S. Teens Are Among Worst at Math" "
Wall Street Journal" December 7, 2004
* [http://veja.abril.com.br/gustavo_ioschpe/index_011107.shtml "Preocupe-se. Seu filho é mal educado."] (Your son is badly educated.) "Veja"
November 7, 2007
* [http://www.elpais.com/articulo/sociedad/educacion/espanola/retrocede/elpepusoc/20071205elpepisoc_1/Tes "La educación española retrocede"] (Spanish education goes back) "El País"
December 5, 2007
* [http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Finnish+teens+score+high+marks+in+latest+PISA+study++/1135232232704 "Finnish teens score high marks in latest PISA study"] "
Helsingin Sanomat" November 30, 2007
Education in Japan
Education in Taiwan
Education in Finland
Education in South Korea
Education in Hong Kong
Education in Germany
*Rindermann, Heiner (2007). The g-factor of international cognitive ability comparisons: the homogeneity of results in PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS and IQ-tests across nations. "European Journal of Personality, 21", 667-706 [http://groups.uni-paderborn.de/rindermann/materialien/PublikationsPDFs/07EJP.pdf]
Official websites and reports
* [http://www.pisa.oecd.org OECD/PISA website]
**" [http://www.pisa.oecd.org/document/2/0,3343,en_32252351_32236191_39718850_1_1_1_1,00.html Science Competencies for Tomorrow's World: Results from PISA 2006]
**" [http://www.oecd.org/document/56/0,2340,en_2649_201185_34016248_1_1_1_1,00.html Learning for Tomorrow's World: First results from PISA 2003] "
* [http://www.pisa2006.helsinki.fi/ PISA 2006 Finland]
* [http://www.messen-und-deuten.de/pisa/biblio.htm Joachim Wuttke: A Critical Online Bibliography]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Test (student assessment) — A test or an examination (or exam ) is an assessment, often administered on paper or on the computer, intended to measure the test takers or respondents (often a student) knowledge, skills, aptitudes, or classification in many other topics (e.g … Wikipedia
Programme PISA — Le programme PISA (acronyme pour «Programme for International Student Assessment» en anglais, et pour «Programme international pour le suivi des acquis des élèves» en français) est un ensemble d études menées par l OCDE et visant à la mesure des… … Wikipédia en Français
International rankings of South Korea — The following are international rankings of flagcountry|South Korea.CitiesSeoul *GaWC Inventory Beta rank Global city (7 points) *Metropolitan area by population #2 (behind Greater Tokyo Area) *Most expensive cities #2 (behind… … Wikipedia
International rankings of Thailand — The following are international rankings of Thailand.General* United Nations: Human Development Index, ranked 74 out of 177 countriesEconomics*Nominal GDP growth rate: ranked 123 of 215 (4.4% growth rate) *Nominal GDP: 36 of 181 ($173b USD) * A.T … Wikipedia
International rankings of the United States — The following are links to international rankings of the United States.Economic* A.T. Kearney/Foreign Policy Magazine: [http://www.atkearney.com/main.taf?p=5,4,1,116 Globalization Index 2005] , ranked 3 out of 62 countries * IMD International:… … Wikipedia
International development — For other forms of development, see development (disambiguation). These key indicators of human well being have all improved since 1970. International development or global development is a concept that lacks a universally accepted definition … Wikipedia
International Education Centre (INTEC), Malaysia — was established in the year of 1982 under the name College of Preparatory Education (KPP). The institution is the place where students, mostly Malaysians, undergo specially prepared programmes before further their study overseas. INTEC as one of… … Wikipedia
International Space Station — ISS redirects here. For other uses, see ISS (disambiguation). International Space Station … Wikipedia
International Community School (UK) — Infobox UK school name = International Community School size = 200px latitude = longitude = dms = motto = motto pl = established = 1979 approx = closed = c approx = type = Independent religion = president = head label = Head of School head =… … Wikipedia
Student-centred learning — Schools portal Education portal … Wikipedia