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ChinaNews版 - Are the Chinese cheating in PISA or are we cheating oursel
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话题: pisa话题: shanghai话题: education话题: countries话题: cheating
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http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.fr/2013/12/are-chinese-cheat
by Andreas Schleicher
Deputy Director for Education and Skills and Special Advisor on Education
Policy to the OECD's Secretary General
Whenever an American or European wins an Olympic gold medal, we cheer them
as heroes. When a Chinese does, the first reflex seems to be that they must
have been doping; or if that’s taking it too far, that it must have been
the result of inhumane training.
There seem to be parallels to this in education. Only hours after results
from the latest PISA assessment showed Shanghai’s school system leading the
field, Time magazine concluded the Chinese must have been cheating. They
didn't bother to read the PISA 2012 Technical Background Annex, which shows
there was no cheating, whatsoever, involved. Nor did they speak with the
experts who had drawn the samples or with the international auditors who had
carefully reviewed and validated the sample for Shanghai and those of other
countries.
Others were quick to suggest that resident internal migrants might not be
covered by Shanghai’s PISA sample, because years ago those migrants wouldn'
t have had access to Shanghai’s schools. But, like many things in China,
that has long changed and, as described by PISA, resident migrants were
covered by the PISA samples in exactly the way they are covered in other
countries and education systems. Still, it seems to be easier to cling to
old stereotypes than keep up with changes on the ground (or to read the PISA
report).
True, like other emerging economies, Shanghai is still building its
education system and not every 15-year-old makes it yet to high school. As a
result of this and other factors, the PISA 2012 sample covers only 79% of
the 15-year-olds in Shanghai. But that is far from unique. Even the United
States, the country with the longest track record of universal high-school
education, covered less than 90% of its 15-year-olds in PISA - and it didn't
include Puerto Rico in its PISA sample, a territory that is unlikely to
have pulled up U.S. average performance.
International comparisons are never easy and they are never perfect. But
anyone who takes a serious look at the facts and figures will concede that
the samples used for PISA result in robust and internationally comparable
data. They have been carefully designed and validated to be fit for purpose
in collaboration with the world’s leading experts, and the tests are
administered under strict and internationally comparable conditions. Anyone
who really wants to find out can review the underlying data.
Short of arguments about methodology, some people turn to dismissing
Shanghai’s strong performance by saying that Shanghai’s students are only
good on the kind of tasks that are easy to teach and easy to test, and that
those things are losing in relevance because they are also the kind of
things that are easy to digitise, automate and outsource. But while the
latter is true, the former is not. Consider this: Only 2% of American 15-
year-olds and 3% of European ones reach the highest level of math
performance in PISA, demonstrating that they can conceptualise, generalise
and use math based on their investigations and apply their knowledge in
novel contexts. In Shanghai it is over 30%. Educators in Shanghai have
simply understood that the world economy will pay an ever-rising premium on
excellence and no longer value people for what they know, but for what they
can do with what they know.
PISA didn't just test what 15-year-olds know in mathematics, it also asked
them what they believe makes them succeed. In many countries, students were
quick to blame everyone but themselves: More than three-quarters of the
students in France, an average performer on the PISA test, said the course
material was simply too hard, two-thirds said the teacher did not get
students interested in the material, and half said their teacher did not
explain the concepts well or they were just unlucky. The results are very
different for Shanghai. Students there believe they will succeed if they try
hard and they trust their teachers to help them succeed. That tells us a
lot about school education. And guess which of these two countries keeps
improving and which is not? The fact that students in some countries
consistently believe that achievement is mainly a product of hard work,
rather than inherited intelligence, suggests that education and its social
context can make a difference in instilling the values that foster success
in education.
And even those who claim that the relative standing of countries in PISA
mainly reflects social and cultural factors must concede that educational
improvement is possible: In mathematics, countries like Brazil, Turkey,
Mexico or Tunisia rose from the bottom; Italy, Portugal and the Russian
Federation have advanced to the average of the industrialised world or close
to it; Germany and Poland rose from average to good, and Shanghai and
Singapore have moved from good to great. Indeed, of the 65 participating
countries, 45 saw improvement in at least one subject area. These countries
didn't change their culture, or the composition of their population, nor did
they fire their teachers. They changed their education policies and
practices. Learning from these countries should be our focus. We will be
cheating ourselves and the children in our schools if we miss that chance.
International comparisons are never easy and they aren’t perfect. But PISA
shows what is possible in education, it takes away excuses from those who
are complacent, and it helps countries see themselves in the mirror of the
educational results and educational opportunities delivered by the world’s
leaders in education. The world has become indifferent to tradition and past
reputations, unforgiving of frailty and ignorant of custom or practice.
Success will go to those individuals, institutions and countries which are
swift to adapt, slow to complain and open to change. And the task for
governments is to help citizens rise to this challenge. PISA can help to
make that happen.
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相关话题的讨论汇总
话题: pisa话题: shanghai话题: education话题: countries话题: cheating