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PISA Education Test 2012 results - Asian countries dominate, US below average.

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posted on Dec, 3 2013 @ 08:24 AM
Today the results for PISA Test were announced from last year´s results.

Asian countries were dominating the results, as expected. US was trailing in math and about OECD average/slightly below in Reading and Sciences. The scores were lower though compared to previous years,

I am positively surprised how well Estonian kids did, while Finland did worse than I expected, during previous tests the scores were higher, but well they still have one of the strongest systems. I just love how the system works there - teachers are extremely qualified and on the same level as lawyers and doctors in the society, no private schools, no standardised tests. No competition, but cooperation between schools, no school ranking systems, schools are very equal when it comes to academic strength, wherever the school.. Very individualised approach towards students (no grading/homework before 6-8th grade, individualised reports and assessments on the strengths and weaknesses in narrative form from the teacher). Focusing also on the blue-collar skills, having lessons in metalwork, textile etc until 9th grade so kids would learn to respect such jobs. Teachers design the curriculums themselves. Shortly, radically different approach compared to other nations, but so far it has worked well and led them to the absolute top of world education systems.

I do not find the system in Asian countries attractive, as it is based on repetition and memorisation, which is very exhausting for kids, as well as not very positive towards critical thinking skills.

edit on 3-12-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)

edit on 3-12-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 3 2013 @ 08:30 AM
Well if the government would stop telling us that foods that dope us are good for us, then maybe our kids would do better. They listen to the chemical companies that sell products to suppress our energy and intelligence then they expect our kids to do good in school. I think that the people running this country are eating too much of this type of food.
edit on 3-12-2013 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 3 2013 @ 08:53 AM
reply to post by rickymouse

That is definitely one point, but there are significantly stronger reasons for it.

Just a few-

Lots of private schools, which weaken the public school system by hiring the best teachers. There needs to be a purpose why a parent pays thousands of dollars a year for private schools. In comparison, on average US private schools are in similar academic level than average public schools in systems very strong education system, although near to every school is near to that average there, for example in Finland the difference between strongest and weakest schools is less than 5%, they are simply trying to keep every schools as equal as possible when it comes to academic levels, although there are no ranking system between schools.

The high standards of teachers is one way to deal with it, the other there is, when a school does not perform well, assistant teachers/outsiders are hired to work individually with the children to raise them to similar level as in other schools. The same goes towards weaker students, special individual plans are created and assistant teachers assigned to work with them individually to raise their performance. This takes lots of resources, but at the end works well, the system costs there 30% less than in US, despite similar price levels.

Extreme standardisation and competition between schools - schools do not focus on teaching kids to understand or think, but to meet the standards. Instead of instruction and teaching, teachers have to constantly spend their time grading the standardised tests/meeting the standards. Not much autonomy for teachers.

No government paid school lunces - not all parents can afford getting one for their kid, so some kids have to spend they days at school starving or not eating well.

Teachers are not highly-valued job in the society. In Finland for example, every teacher has to have masters degree, only 10% of people who want to become teacher can get to it. The competition to teacher´s degrees is higher than to law or medicine. Only the best are taken and rewarded well for good job.

Sooner or later, the social inequality will start to reflect in education system as well, even currently it does. The privatisation and capitalising the education system has created a strong difference between the schools. One´s strength of education and schools they can attend is more based on their parent´s wallet than it is on their mind and work ethics.
edit on 3-12-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 3 2013 @ 10:35 AM
What?? Privatizing schools, vouchers, school choice, extreme testing, demoralizing and bullying teachers (and students), instituting corporate culture into schools, top down rule, "scientific management", spending billions on technology ... that hasn't worked after over a decade?? Well, then, by God, there's only one thing to do ... we need to have more of it !!

social scientists generally agree that “teacher differences account for about 10% of the variance in student test score gains in a single year.” Out-of-school factors account for about 60% of the variance; many other influences are unexplained variables


Maybe we need to take a look at those "out-of-school factors".

What the US has done (starting with No Child Left Behind) is tried to impose an educational system used in most other countries onto a system unique to America. One international scholar, Zhao Young, believes that that has done more harm than good, because what the US has done well, be a world entrepreneurial and creative leader, is in danger of failing.

Zhao said that test has the wrong focus for the future and even the PISA test for perceived entrepreneurial capability found that those with great entrepreneurial scores had poor math scores.

As a native of China, Zhao said he knows his country will never have a entrepreneur like Steve Jobs unless it revamps its educational system.

China has 20 percent of the world population but only 1 percent of the patents, he said.

"The products that dominate the globe are made by the United States," he said. "Bad education has not ruined the United States."

"To me, as a parent, I want students to be confident, to come out of school curious. When you are confident, you can learn other things but once you ruin confidence, it's hard to get it back," Zhao said.

Lady Gaga, Mark Zuckerburg, Steve Jobs are happy accidents, he said.

"The American system allows people like Lady Gaga to survive," he said. "You tolerate people like Lady Gaga. Most systems force a student to conform, some more than others."


American students were forced to work harder under NCLB, which did help to increase knowledge and skills, but that 60% out-of-school might still be the cause of gaps. Common Core will turn out to be NCLB on steroids. Do we still want to continue on a trajectory that will continue to set students up for failure on tests, while at the same time also set up the nation for failure in an area in which we once were tops?

I'm sure that this PISA headline will turn into another blurb of the day tossed out to audiences not used to thinking critically.
edit on 3-12-2013 by desert because: forgot to put in one source

posted on Dec, 3 2013 @ 11:56 PM
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posted on Feb, 10 2014 @ 11:34 AM
reply to post by Cabin

No point in crying. China and India still have deplorable living standards no matter how big the middle class is.


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