Today’s the Day
by Andreas Schleicher, Director, Directorate for Education and Skills
The latest results from PISA are released today. Before you look to see how well your country performed on the triennial test of 15-year-olds students around the world, consider this: only 20 short years ago, there was no such thing as a blog. If it weren’t for science and technology, not only would you not be reading this right now, but there wouldn’t be the device on which you’re reading it — or countless other gadgets, medicines, fibres, tools… that have become all but indispensable in our lives.
Obviously, we don’t all have to be scientists to live in the 21st century. But an understanding of some basic principles of science — like the importance of experiments in building a body of scientific knowledge — is essential if we want to make informed decisions about the most pressing issues of our time (or even if we just want to choose the “healthiest” option for lunch).
PISA 2015 focused on students’ performance in and attitudes towards science. More than half a million 15-year-olds (representing around 29 million students) in 72 countries and economies sat the test. Today is the day we find out whether students around the world can take what they have learned in school and use it to solve problems they might encounter in “real” life.
What do the results tell us? For an easily digestible summary of the findings and their implications, see this month’s special edition of PISA in Focus or watch the video above. (And if you’re not sure you really understand how PISA works, or what influence it might have over education policy, check out these animations:How does PISA work? and How does PISA help shape education reform?) But if you want to dig deeper, the first two volumes of the PISA 2015 Results (Volume I,Volume II), published today, present all of the results, and examine how student performance is associated with family background, the learning environment in school, and the policy choices governments make. (And we have science and technology to thank for enabling you to sample any or all of these by just tapping your finger.)
So tap into the world’s most comprehensive set of data on learning. You’ll probably learn something, too.
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