1996-3777 (online)
1990-8539 (print)
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A series of reports on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment’s (PISA) periodic testing program on student performance. The reports generally compare student (15 year olds) academic performance across countries, or discuss the methodology used to gather the data.

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PISA 2006

PISA 2006

Science Competencies for Tomorrow's World: Volume 1: Analysis You or your institution have access to this content

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04 Dec 2007
9789264040014 (PDF) ;9789264040007(print)

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PISA 2006: Science Competencies for Tomorrow’s World presents the results from the most recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey, which focused on science and also assessed mathematics and reading. It is divided into two volumes: the first offers an analysis of the results, the second contains the underlying data. Volume 1: Analysis gives the most comprehensive international picture of science learning today, exploring not only how well students perform, but also their interests in science and their awareness of the opportunities that scientific competencies bring as well as the environment that schools offer for science learning. It places the performance of students, schools and countries in the context of their social background and identifies important educational policies and practices that are associated with educational success. By showing that some countries succeed in providing both high quality education and equitable learning outcomes, PISA sets ambitious goals for others.
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  • Introduction
    Are students well prepared to meet the challenges of the future? Are they able to analyse, reason and communicate their ideas effectively? Have they found the kinds of interests they can pursue throughout their lives as productive members of the economy and society? The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) seeks to provide some answers to these questions through its surveys of key competencies of 15-year-old students. PISA surveys are administered every three years in the OECD member countries and a group of partner countries, which together make up close to 90% of the world economy.
  • A profile of student performance in science
    To what extent have students learned fundamental scientific concepts and theories? How well can they identify scientific issues, explain phenomena scientifically, and use scientific evidence as they encounter, interpret, and solve real-life problems involving science and technology? In order to provide answers to these questions for policy makers and educators and to assist them with improving the teaching and learning of science, PISA provides a series of international benchmarks.
  • A profile of student engagement in science
    Most children come to school ready and willing to learn. International surveys of primary school age children generally reveal high levels of interest and positive attitudes of children to subjects such as science.1 How can schools foster and strengthen this predisposition and ensure that young adults leave school with the motivation and capacity to continue learning throughout life?
  • Quality and equity in the performance of students and schools
    Chapter 2 considered how well students in different countries perform in science at age 15. The analysis revealed considerable variation in the relative standing of countries in terms of their students’ capacity to put scientific knowledge and skills to functional use. Differences between countries represent 28% of the variation in student performance in all the countries that took part in the PISA 2006 assessment, and 9% among OECD countries. The remaining performance variation lies between schools and students and it is therefore important to interpret the performance variation among countries jointly with the performance variation between schools and students.
  • School and system characteristics and student performance in science
    Chapter 4 showed the considerable impact that socio-economic background can have on student performance and, by implication, on the distribution of educational opportunities. At the same time, many factors of socio-economic disadvantage are not directly amenable to education policy, at least not in the short term. For example, the educational attainment of parents can only gradually improve and average family wealth depends on the long-term economic and social development of a country. The importance of socio-economic disadvantage, and the realisation that aspects of such disadvantage only change over extended periods of time, give rise to vital questions for policy makers: what can schools and school policies do to raise overall student performance? And similarly, what can they do to moderate the impact that socio-economic background has on student performance, thus promoting a more equitable distribution of learning opportunities?
  • A profile of student performance in reading and mathematics from PISA 2000 to PISA 2006
    PISA shows countries where their education systems stand relative to others, in terms of the performance of 15-year-old students. Equally important, PISA monitors changes in educational outcomes over time and tracks changes in factors related to student and school performance, including the attitudes and expectations of students, the learning environment at school, and factors relating to school policies and practices.
  • Annexes
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