View Full Version : PISA

6th Dec 2013, 09:51
- leaning or not, learning or not :), but the test results are really interesting. Maybe not just the ranking, maybe more the implications, especially those about the kids feeling happy or unhappy at school, and their success internationally and regionally at home. Academic success at least. Some quotes, googlable, no links - there are so many interesting ones around the wild, wild web.
Education systems are inextricably linked with economies and the ambitions of their people. And the rising stars are those that are pushing up from below, in Asia, South America and eastern Europe. Vietnam, Brazil and Poland are getting the praise for progress, following in the footsteps of Singapore and South Korea.
What this means, the OECD says, is that there are often bigger differences within countries than between countries. And if one region can perform so well, why not the rest of the country?
[about Shanghai] He points to an ancient Chinese dedication to learning when asked to explain the city’s PISA successes, but warns: “Education is cultural. It can’t simply be copied or borrowed.”
Prof Kong says cultural factors have been central to Shanghai’s PISA glories, but suggests western students hoping to catch up with their Asian peers would do well to take on some extra homework.
“The number of hours Chinese students put into homework is several times higher than their western pals,” he says.

as for the last one about the UK - I don't know how true it is, but there's deep irony in it.
The single area in which our teenagers scored above average is “being happy at school”. This could be linked to the fact that they don’t seem to be doing algebra and can tell teachers to “Eff off” without fear of reprisal.
and probably shows how hard it is to find balance. In the long run too much of "being happy" might not be such a good idea, still some is definitely needed.

6th Dec 2013, 10:43
At work I used to be in charge of young people who had been happy as students, and probably in high school and primary school too.

When they discovered work wasn't designed for having fun, they were not happy at all.

6th Dec 2013, 11:42
The PISA tests have just shown my Province to be the worst in Canada for Science & Math, and worse than last time.
Is this a fair indication? You're damn right it is.
Having taught in the UK for 11 years, I think the PISA tests are accurate there too.

Corruption and cheating in exams is endemic in China. Go check up on the near-riots caused by parents when a teacher refuses to allow cheating. I've taught Chinese students in a North American University. They cheat in tests as a matter of routine, and are surprised when you pull them up about it.

Even if the kids are genuinely excellent at Math & Science - I've taught some exceptional kids from Brunei and Hong Kong - it doesn't mean they know how to think. Generally, they don't if they've learned under that system. However, transferring over to an British (Independent) school at 16 and staying to attend an British University does work. Those students have gone on to get top degrees at Oxbridge.

About the best combination for excellence in the subject seems to be: Drill them more in primary school, then teach them how to think from about age 14 onwards. In the UK, this is called the grammar school system.

As to student happiness...Do you want them happy now or happy later?

6th Dec 2013, 11:56
Fox 3 on the money as usual (could have been a jet pilot I reckon!). There is an extension of the perceived British softness here, and playing fair. I never for a second accepted that China would let bad results off the premises, and that will be the case elsewhere in Asia too. Us, play a straight bat, it's the right way!

Where education is the route out of abject poverty, 12 hours of schooling and cramming might be the norm- otherwise, it's child abuse- everyone saw the crap they pushed from Korea last week- what a life.

While we keep lowering the standards so that the polly of the day can say things got steadily better on his/her watch, we'll get what we deserve.

6th Dec 2013, 12:29
I think the results are a fair reflection............to many parents in UK want Schools to educate their kids and they can wash their hands of all responsibility.

Homework.............not needed, reading assistance.............they will manage but its teachers fault..
Xbox / Wii etc etc............yup they must have it and teachers can't say booo to them.
We don't posesss any of the Xbox etc etc and plan not to do so.

Have littlies who love reading, why because we make sure lots of books always around, they use the local library like a sweet store every week in that they in and come back with 4-5 books. SWMBO makes sure of it.

Homework, always done, sometime late but always done and not acceptable not to do it. We have spent whole weekend getting littlie to update reading record and not doing other stuff deliberately, we then make the point that it could have taken 30 minutes, they understand in the end after a month of doing this.

School does projects with them, this year was Romans and littlie choose Roman Technology, teacher said can't even copy from last year or year before as nobody has done it before and nobody in class was doing it. Choose difficult rather than easy...............awkward bugger is inherited trait.

Younger littlie really not much different in that they follow what older sibling is doing and believe they will push even harder. We oragnise holidays to ensure they experience something different and can learn from it.

I believe education is a 24 hr job.

Sadly I see other parents with a mentality of its all ok but I know that we will have to work hard with them and even then not sure it will be enough.

SWMBO volunteers with littlies school to do reading practice and rarely tells me much about it but she and others could be there every day and this is a good school.

PISA results not a shock as too many people wish to dump Education on the school and abdicate all responsibility, parents, friends and everybody else must play a part.

6th Dec 2013, 13:46
Equally, when praised by parents for their child's progress, I used to say "I blame the parents!". Always got a laugh, after which I would elaborate about ethos and other ways they could continue to help their child's progress, without over pressuring said child.

6th Dec 2013, 16:08
It's not always easy for parents to assume responsibility for their child's education while choosing to work "within the system". I'm thinking back to my (my children's) days under the UK primary regime where my working routine meant that holidays had to be taken wholly or partly in term-time. With 50% of my extended family involved in education in one way or another, there was no way the Junior Ramblers would be let squander a valuable learning opportunity such as a trip to an Austrian alpine glacier (not a ski in sight), a Tuscan village or a fragile Irish ecosystem.

But that's not how the school saw it, and the teacher/head/board of governers did everything to subdue those opportunities, even revising the "Guidance to Parents" after I pointed out that it specified a tolerance of "10 days per year" of which my children had only consumed 9 (in three periods, through careful planning). Apparently, spending one week learning the letter S in English was then (and may still be) more important than using fifty words in Italian.

6th Dec 2013, 16:25
Skools' out: Make mine a Margherita (but hold the mushrooms)... :ok:

6th Dec 2013, 16:39
Spain is way down the list. Our daughter-in-law is Spanish and she agrees that that is right where they are - which is why she prefers to bring her children up in the UK.

6th Dec 2013, 20:09
work wasn't designed for having fun, they were not happy at all

Now there's a thing. I hated school, but once I got to work it was GREAT. All these big shiny devices to maintain and work with. And in my second career, all those bit shiny computers and electronic boxes to play with. And satellites and stuff...and a crowd of young enthusiastic colleagues...we all had a great time, and it lasted some 25 years.

And in retrospect I look on 'work' as my reward for enduring mostly irrelevant and totally boring school/tech school/college.

7th Dec 2013, 01:31
Ironically I am at a conference for School Trustees today. Education has always been changing but the changes in this revision are very interesting indeed. I wish I were going to school today.

Meanwhile the newspapers here are panicking because we have slipped 14 points (in five hundred) in Math skills while maintaining our position in English and Science.

9th Dec 2013, 09:32
I reckon teachers can make a boring subject
quite enjoyable to learn if they brighten it up
a bit.

We had a history teacher who could make you
feel you were fighting the Battle of Hastings
yourself, or that you were there as a swabbie
under Chris Columbus or Ferdy Magellan. Then
there you were - an ordinary soldier, shit scared
but brave, describing how today went while on
the Roman path of conquest in Britain.

95% of us got straight A in History that year,
much to the bewilderment of our parents. As
with most good things it was short lived - the
bugger went on to a more lucrative position
at a private school rather than the public one
we kids were at.

9th Dec 2013, 09:37
Absolutely, MD787. And it feels totally 'high' when you notice an extremely sceptical student has got the sparkle in their eyes at last, btw.

P.S besides, see what happened to Caco, ddf? :E

9th Dec 2013, 09:47
May have mentioned before that for four years of high school, my maths teachers were ex WW II navigators.
They could usually come up with examples & problems that were interesting to teenaged boys.

9th Dec 2013, 10:38
one more abso´lutely - they do enjoy hard work when it makes sense to them (which might be complicated sometimes :E). That's why I've been puzzled by this 'being happy' interpreted as 'idle'. Mostly?