PISA 2018 Results (Volume III)

What School Life Means for Students’ Lives

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The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) examines what students know in reading, mathematics and science, and what they can do with what they know. It provides the most comprehensive and rigorous international assessment of student learning outcomes to date. Results from PISA indicate the quality and equity of learning outcomes attained around the world, and allow educators and policy makers to learn from the policies and practices applied in other countries. This is one of six volumes that present the results of the PISA 2018 survey, the seventh round of the triennial assessment. Volume III, What School Life Means for Students’ Lives, focuses on the physical and emotional health of students, the role of teachers and parents in shaping the school climate, and the social life at school. The volume also examines indicators of student well-being, and how these are related to the school climate.



Up to the end of the 1990s, OECD comparisons of education outcomes were mainly based on measures of years of schooling, which are not reliable indicators of what people are actually able to do. With the Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA, we tried to change this. The transformational idea behind PISA lay in testing the skills of students directly, through a metric that was internationally agreed upon; linking that with data from students, teachers, schools and systems to understand performance differences; and then harnessing the power of collaboration to act on the data, both by creating shared points of reference and by leveraging peer pressure.


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