Measuring Student Knowledge and Skills

A New Framework for Assessment

Are students well prepared to meet the challenges of the future? Parents, students, the public and those who run education systems need to know whether children are acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge to become tomorrow's citizens and to continue learning throughout life. International indicators can describe the levels of achievement in various countries, to which others might aspire. They can provide direction for schools' instructional efforts and for students' learning as well as insights into curriculum strengths and weaknesses.

The 29 Member countries of the OECD, together with other countries, have launched the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to develop such indicators on a regular basis. PISA aims at assessing how far students approaching the end of compulsory education have acquired some of the knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in society.

A New Framework for Assessment, the first volume in the PISA series, provides the conceptual framework on which the PISA 2000 assessment is based. It defines the domains of reading literacy, mathematics literacy and scientific literacy forming the core of PISA in terms of the content that students need to acquire, the processes that need to be performed, and the contexts in which knowledge and skills are applied. It also describes the methods developed to ensure that the assessment tasks are valid across countries, are strong at measuring relevant skills and are based on authentic life situations.

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