Students' disposition to be assessed

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Students' disposition to be assessed

Andreas Schleicher, director of the Directorate for Education and Skills at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development / Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

PISA to measure global competency from 2018By Chung Hyun-chaeAndreas Schleicher, director of the Directorate for Education and Skills at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), revealed a plan to include a new evaluation component called the “Global Competence Assessment” to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) from 2018. “PISA 2018 will measure attitudes, disposition and the beliefs of students in addition to mathematics and science skills and competence,” Schleicher told The Korea Times on the sidelines of the world Education Forum 2015 at the Sheraton Incheon Hotel in Songdo, Incheon, Monday.Launched in the year 2000 and administered by the OECD, the PISA has conducted the international survey every three years to assess mathematics, science and reading skills of 15-year-old students from 76 OECD and non-OECD countries.He explained that the OECD decided to create a new assessment to evaluate the capacity of students to see the world through different lenses and to be able to appreciate different ways of thinking, working and value systems.”In today’s world, students grow up with their own mindset and values but in global society, they need to be able to appreciate different ideas and values,” he said. According to him, they started to design global competence assessment 18 months ago and are now developing a framework by basically spelling out the ideas, the matrix and so on. “We will publish the framework on October or November this year and develop a field trial next year. Then in 2017 we will built a pilot test around the world and in 2018 we will implement the full assessment,” Schleicher said. He displayed passion for the new idea. “The PISA assessment of global competency will be the world’s first attempt to actually qualify those kinds of skills such as attitudes and believes,” he said. “If we do not develop reliable matrix around global competence, we, PISA or other instruments will not be able to give teachers good signals to develop those kinds of competency.”How to prepare PISA 2018Asked if countries could prepare for the global competence assessment, Schleicher said, “I am not sure the country can prepare for PISA 2018 because it is really about value, about doing good teaching and modern pedagogies.”He also added that it is not something that we can teach in the short term.But he saw that the global citizenship education (GCE), which will be one of the major themes of the forum this year, is closely related to global competency. “Already many countries have been putting a lot emphasis on that tool. For example, Singapore started to give every middle school student overseas experience a couple of years ago for the first time in the world to give them first-hand experiences,” Schleicher said. “That is high in global competence as students can experience different ideas and cultures.” He also cited European countries, in particular small countries including the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.”The small countries in Europe tend to be more open to the world and realize the idea of global competency while bigger countries like France, Germany and Italy don’t put so much emphasis on it. I think they are still struggling with this idea,” he said. Korea, high performing country in PISAIn PISA 2015, Korea ranked third, following Singapore and Hong Kong. Actually the top five places are all taken by Asian countries with Japan and Taiwan tied for fourth place. “It is quite possible that there will be different kind of outcomes in PISA 2018,” Schleicher said. But he kept finding good aspects of Korean education, even while countering the common criticism toward it.”Korean students have strong knowledge but they also have a good capacity to apply the skills creatively in the PISA test,” he said. “Although many people say education in Korea is too much focusing on rote learning, that’s not what was seen in the ranking; In order to be successful in PISA, students need to be able to creatively apply the use of knowledge.”He also emphasized that skill sets measured in PISA are not closely related to what Korean students are doing through private tutoring. “Private tutoring is not about creative and problem solving skills,” Schleicher said. “When we take a look at Japan that has seen a decrease in the amount of private tutoring due to easier access to universities, it has seen no decrease on PISA results. My hypothesis is that Korea is similar to Japan’s case.”According to the developer of the PISA, Korea has also seen important changes in PISA 2015 with its high performance.”Traditionally, Korean education used to be good on average but the share of top performing students was actually limited,” he said. “But over the past nine years, we have seen an important improvement that the share of top performing students has actually increased particularly in the reading skills.”Schleicher also deemed examinations in Korea to be a very important driver for success because they set a clear goal and give meaning to learning at schools, but suggested to make the exams more meaningful. “I’m worried that exams holding back students from innovative pedagogies. The exam should measure capacities that our society values most,” he said.

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