Pathways to Success

How Knowledge and Skills at Age 15 Shape Future Lives in Canada

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Presents the findings of Canada's Youth in Transition Survey, which complements OECD's PISA survey and offers significant new policy insights in understanding students’ choices at different ages and the impact of these decisions on consequent education and labour market outcomes. YITS is a longitudinal study that tracks 30 000 Canadian students who took part in the PISA 2000 assessment and, with interviews every two years, follows their progress from secondary school into higher education and the labour market.



Introduction: The Case for Linking PISA with Longitudinal Studies

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) offers a comprehensive, high-quality and reliable indicator of how education systems fare in close to 70 countries. It allows countries to benchmark their performance against international standards and also contextualise their performance in order to inform policy in a number of areas. Using Canada as an example, this chapter shows that the results of cross-sectional studies such as PISA can be significantly enhanced through the strategic implementation of a longitudinal component. These enhancements can lead to significant policy insights in understanding the choices made at different ages and the impact these choices have on consequent education and labour market outcomes. With these insights at hand, decision makers can make more informed investments in public policy.


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