BeSmartOnAir #20: The Leaning Tower of PISA

It’s been rolling on ever since 1997, the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment – PISA for short – aiming at providing a way to compare and rank the success (or the lack of it) of the educational systems in a large number of countries. PISA has been focusing on reading skills, maths and science and the test results tend to cause vocal debates and even demands to reform educational systems when the scores are low – which has definitely been the case in Sweden.

So, what do the PISA test scores actually tell us? Are they the God’s honest truth about the state of education or could it be possible that they measure the students’ performance in a way that just happens to be easy to measure? What about extremely important skills like capacity to innovate and collaborative skills?

On the positive side: debate is always a good thing and PISA has definitely helped to emphasize the importance of education in a global scale. However, reforming education based on low PISA scores might be pushing it just a little bit and at least Finland seems to have chosen its own path, regardless of the test scores.

So, the tower is definitely leaning. Wonder if we managed to straighten it up a bit? Thanks Tiina and Alastair for great insights – as usual!

If you prefer audio-only you can listen to this episode directly through the web using this link.

Next BeSmartOnAir episode is preliminary set to November 16 but follow the hashtag #BeSmartOnAir in social media to get the latest info. See you On Air!

About niiloa

Language teacher, EdTech coach, GSuite superadmin, YouTuber, podcaster, advocate for international school collaboration
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