OECD Education Working Papers

1993-9019 (online)
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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies drawing on the work of the OECD Directorate for Education. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language (English or French) with a short summary available in the other.

PISA For Development Technical Strand A

Enhancement of PISA Cognitive Instruments You or your institution have access to this content

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Ray Adams1, John Cresswell1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: Australian Council for Educational Research, Australia

12 Jan 2016
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The OECD is planning to enhance existing PISA assessment instruments in reading, mathematics and science so that they will be more suitable to the context of developing countries. The main purpose of this paper is to identify the main technical issues associated with this aim. The paper reports detailed analysis of the existing PISA item pool and its suitability for countries which have students of average limited capacity. The paper cautions that the fit of developing country data to the PISA model is not good and that modifications to address some of the deviations should be explored. The use of learning metrics to describe dimensions of educational progression is at the core of the PISA reporting methodology and requires a consistency across countries in item behaviour that is not apparent for developing countries. The paper recommends that any process to move towards enhancing the instruments must be undertaken with extensive consultation with the countries involved.
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