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 2015 Results (Volume I)

PISA 2015 Results (Volume I)

Excellence and Equity in Education You or your institution have access to this content

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06 Dec 2016
9789264266490 (PDF) ;9789264267329(print)

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The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) examines not just what students know in science, reading and mathematics, but what they can do with what they know. Results from PISA show educators and policy makers the quality and equity of learning outcomes achieved elsewhere, and allow them to learn from the policies and practices applied in other countries. PISA 2015 Results (Volume I): Excellence and Equity in Education, is one of five volumes that present the results of the PISA 2015 survey, the sixth round of the triennial assessment. It summarises student performance in science, reading and mathematics, and defines and measures equity in education. It focuses on students’ attitudes towards learning science, including their expectations of working in science-related careers. The volume also discusses how performance and equity have evolved across PISA-participating countries and economies over recent years.

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  • Foreword and acknowledgements

    Equipping citizens with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their full potential, contribute to an increasingly interconnected world, and ultimately convert better skills into better lives is a central preoccupation of policy makers around the world. Results from the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills show that highly skilled adults are not only twice as likely to be employed and almost three times more likely to earn an above-median salary than poorly skilled adults, they are also more likely to volunteer, to report that they are in good to excellent health, to see themselves as actors rather than as objects of political processes, and to trust others. Fairness, integrity and inclusiveness in public policy thus all hinge on the skills of citizens.

  • Executive summary

    An understanding of science, and of science-based technology, is necessary not only for those whose careers depend on it directly, but also for any citizen who wishes to make informed decisions related to the many controversial issues under debate today. From maintaining a healthy diet, to managing waste in big cities, to weighing the costs and benefits of genetically modified crops or mitigating the catastrophic consequences of global warming, science is ubiquitous in our lives.

  • Reader's guide
  • What is PISA?

    “What is important for citizens to know and be able to do?” In response to that question and to the need for internationally comparable evidence on student performance, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched the triennial survey of 15-year-old students around the world known as the Programme for International Students Assessment, or PISA. PISA assesses the extent to which 15-year-old students, near the end of their compulsory education, have acquired key knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in modern societies. The assessment focuses on the core school subjects of science, reading and mathematics. Students’ proficiency in an innovative domain is also assessed (in 2015, this domain is collaborative problem solving). The assessment does not just ascertain whether students can reproduce knowledge; it also examines how well students can extrapolate from what they have learned and can apply that knowledge in unfamiliar settings, both in and outside of school. This approach reflects the fact that modern economies reward individuals not for what they know, but for what they can do with what they know.

  • Overview: Excellence and Equity in Education
  • Science performance among 15–year–olds

    This chapter defines the notion of science literacy and how it is measured in PISA 2015. It also shows how close countries are to equipping all their students with a baseline level of proficiency in science. This would mean that, when students leave compulsory education, they are at least able to provide possible explanations for scientific phenomena in familiar contexts and to draw appropriate conclusions from data derived from simple investigations. The chapter also discusses the extent to which young adults have acquired a scientific mindset - that is, positive dispositions towards scientific methods of enquiry and towards discussion of science-related topics.

  • Students' attitudes towards science and expectations of science–related careers

    This chapter focuses on student engagement with science and attitudes towards science as measured through students’ responses to the PISA background questionnaire. The chapter examines differences in students’ career expectations, science activities, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for learning science, and beliefs about their abilities in science. It investigates how students’ attitudes towards science are associated with their expectations of future study and work in science- and technology-related fields, particularly among students who are highly proficient in science, and how students’ beliefs about their abilities in science are related to performance in science.

  • Reading performance among 15-year-olds

    How well can 15-year-old students understand, use, reflect on and engage with written texts? This chapter compares countries’ and economies’ performance in reading in 2015 and analyses changes over the various PISA assessments. It highlights the differences between girls’ and boys’ performance.

  • Mathematics performance among 15-year-olds

    This chapter compares countries’ and economies’ performance in mathematics in 2015 and analyses the changes in performance since 2003. Changes since the PISA 2012 assessment, when mathematics was most recently the major domain, are highlighted. The chapter also discusses differences in mathematics performance related to gender.

  • Socio-economic status, student performance and students' attitudes towards science

    This chapter defines the dimensions of equity in education: inclusiveness and fairness. It first discusses 15-year-olds’ access to schooling in PISA-participating countries and economies, and then describes how the socio-economic status of students and schools is related to student performance and students’ attitudes towards science.

  • Immigrant background, student performance and students' attitudes towards science

    This chapter examines differences in performance and attitudes towards science in PISA 2015 by students’ immigrant background. It discusses recent trends in immigration in PISA-participating countries and economies, and highlights factors associated with low performance among immigrant students, including the concentration of disadvantage in the schools that many of these students attend.

  • What PISA 2015 results imply for policy

    A solid base of science literacy is necessary not just for those who are interested in becoming scientists and engineers; all young people need to understand the nature of science and the origin of scientific knowledge so that they can become better citizens and discerning consumers. This chapter analyses what the disparities in student performance, attitudes towards science and expectations of pursuing science-related careers imply for education policy and practice.

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