PISA 2006

Science Competencies for Tomorrow's World: Volume 1: Analysis

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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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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.


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