Articles on PISA

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Focusing on narrow PISA measures may increase skill levels but cause students to miss out on the kinds of learning that generates higher-order thinking. (Shutterstock)

Problems with PISA: Why Canadians should be skeptical of the global test

There are many reasons to be skeptical about PISA rankings, and their use to compare student achievement or to identify best practices or solutions for educational problems.
Policy-makers must remember that the social consequences of a test are just as important as the test’s content. (Shutterstock)

New global testing standards will force countries to revisit academic rankings

The stakes could be highest for students around the world as education systems decide how to respond to the changing shape of global standardized testing.
Large-scale literacy testing has not kept pace with how literacy is practiced in classooms, assessed by teachers and mandated by curriculum. tim gouw/unsplash

Testing literacy today requires more than a pencil and paper

Are current forms of standardized literacy tests really measuring children's capacity to read and interact with our rapidly-changing world?
Canadians seem not to want to talk about race and racism, deferring instead to ‘income’ and immigration status when it comes to measuring education success. LeonardoBurgos /Unsplash

Why won’t Canada collect data on race and student success?

News of Canada's successful immigrant students glosses over important stories of racism, for example the 'streaming' of Black males. But without more data beyond Toronto, the story is hard to share.
A low sense of belonging is associated with negative behaviours including misbehaviour, drug and alcohol use at school, violence and dropping out of school. Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Teachers play a key role in helping students feel they ‘belong’ at school

When students feel accepted and respected by their teachers and peers, they will actively engage in academic and non-academic activities.
Both first- and second-generation immigrants in British Columbia and Ontario outperformed their non-immigrant counterparts in science literacy, in the 2015 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Programme for International Student Assessment. (Shutterstock)

The secrets of immigrant student success

First and second-generation immigrants perform well in many Canadian provinces that take an "accommodation" approach.
B.C.‘s ambitious new school curriculum includes mandatory financial literacy instruction within math courses at every grade level, starting from kindergarten. (Shutterstock)

Why financial literacy should be taught in every school

Financial literacy is non-intuitive to the human brain and fundamental to survival today. We should follow British Columbia's example and make financial literacy mandatory in every grade - across the country.
For a student who is blind, the obvious test adjustment is providing a braille test if they are proficient in braille. Shutterstock

Standardised tests limit students with disability

Standardised tests restrict how well students with disability can do, which reinforces the idea that there are things they can't do that children without disability can.
Results from the 2017 NAPLAN results showed very little improvement since the test was introduced 10 years ago. Richard Wainwright/AAP

NAPLAN has done little to improve student outcomes

NAPLAN is good at measuring some aspects of education, including knowledge difference between demographics, but has not produced a positive effect on student learning outcomes.
Indonesian girls are performing better than boys in the PISA test. But the overall performance of Indonesian students in science, mathematics and reading is among the lowest of participating countries. Enny Nuraheni/Reuters

Indonesia’s PISA results show need to use education resources more efficiently

The latest PISA report shows Indonesian girls outperforming boys in all subjects. But, overall, Indonesian students are low performers among students of PISA-participating countries.

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