This Isn’t a Pissing Contest

Pardon the language, but it’s true.

I’ve sat back for some days now, watching the PISA “pregame show”, with lots of speculation by media outlets prior to the release of PISA results.

I’ve sat back and watched the “first responders” to the results, with many individuals quick to find fault and assign blame for “the fallen”.

I’m fascinated by how quickly pundits and professionals are able to come to conclusions with a document that is over 500 pages long, and the Canadian summary alone is 90 pages.

Some people say the test itself is irrelevant.

Some people question the testing process and analysis of results.

Some attempt to paint a general picture.

Some attempt to lay blame.

OECD has an interactive tool on their website that allows you to explore the data on your own. The next three graphics are some of the results of my ongoing exploration of the data set:

Canadian students say that family demands placed upon them have increased.
student Q family demands

Students are skipping classes.
student Q on skipping

Students are late for class.
student Q on lateness

Students are lacking confidence.
student Q math ability

Yes, we need to have content area experts as teachers. That’s why I obtained a degree in Mathematics and Science.

Yes, we need to have pedagogical experts as teachers. That’s why I obtained a degree in Education.

And yes, we need to ensure that teachers continue to upgrade their skills and abilities in both content and pedagogy. That’s why I continue to seek out and lead professional development sessions, why I continue to read and do research.

As for PISA results and country rankings and the opinions of pundits and professionals? I choose to listen to the students. They’re the ones who matter.

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About tjthiessen

explorer, administrator, consultant, student, leader
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