Ref. :  000015809
Date :  2004-12-06
Language :  English
Home Page / The whole website
fr / es / de / po / en

Top-performer Finland improves further in PISA survey as gap between countries widens

Author :  OCDE / OECD


Finland once again came out top in the OECD's latest PISA study of learning skills among 15-year-olds, with high performances in mathematics and science matching those of top-ranking Asian school systems in Hong Kong-China, Japan and Korea. But some low-performing countries showed only small improvements or actually did less well, widening the gap between the best and poorest performers.

More than 250,000 students in 41 countries took part in PISA 2003, the second three-yearly survey of its kind. The survey involves pencil and paper tests lasting two hours, taken in the students' schools. The main focus in PISA 2003 was on mathematics, but the survey also looked at student performance in problem-solving, science and reading and at students' approaches to learning and attitudes to school.

Finland already led in the PISA 2000 reading assessment, and in PISA 2003 it maintained its high level of reading literacy while further improving its performance in mathematics and science. In mathematics, where the PISA 2003 tests sought to establish how well students can develop and apply mathematical models to deal with real-life tasks and interpret, validate and communicate the results, top-performing OECD countries also include the Netherlands.

Most other countries' relative positions in the PISA 2003 survey remained broadly similar to those in PISA 2000, but some showed notable changes. Poland's overall performance rose thanks to big improvements among lower-performing students in the wake of a major reform of the education system in 1999. Smaller but still noteworthy improvements in at least two assessment areas also occurred in Belgium, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Overall, wealthier countries tend to do better in educational terms than poor nations, but there are exceptions: Korea's national income, for example, is 30 per cent below the OECD average but its students are among the best performers in OECD countries. Nor is high expenditure necessarily a key to success: a number of countries do well in terms of "value for money" in their education systems, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Japan, Korea and the Netherlands, while some of the "big spenders" perform below the OECD average. (Data for the United Kingdom are not included, due to insufficient response rates of students and schools. In PISA 2000, data for the Netherlands were excluded for the same reason).

The results of PISA 2003 suggest that both students and schools perform best in a climate characterised by high expectations that are supported through strong teacher-student relations, students who are ready to invest effort and who show interest and lower levels of anxiety with mathematics, and a positive disciplinary climate. In most of the countries that performed well, local authorities and schools also have substantial responsibility for educational content and/or the use of resources, and many set out to teach heterogeneous groups of learners.

PISA also benchmarks educational quality against other important dimensions:

* Students whose parents have better-paid jobs, are better educated and have more "cultural" possessions in their homes perform on average significantly better in all countries than those without such advantages. However, the degree of difference varies. Australia, Canada, Finland and Japan stand out for high standards of both quality and equity, with above-average mathematics performance and below-average impact of socio-economic background on student performance. In contrast, results for Belgium, Germany, Hungary and the Slovak Republic reveal large socio-economic inequalities in the distribution of educational opportunities.

* In Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Poland and Sweden, parents can rely on high and consistent standards across schools. By contrast, variations in student performance in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Turkey are largely accounted for by performance differences between schools. In Poland, the differences between individual schools' performances have shrunk since PISA 2000, possibly reflecting the introduction of a more integrated school system in 1999.

* Since some countries allocate students to schools according to their prior educational performance, some differences in average school performance are there by design. However, it is worrying to find large differences between schools, particularly in the countries with highly stratified and early selective systems, that are linked to socio-economic inequalities in learning opportunities. Peer-group influences may be one factor helping to raise the performance of pupils attending schools with higher socio-economic status. But better school resources and a more positive school climate also seem likely to play a part.

* While girls outperform boys in reading in all countries, gender differences in mathematics tend to be small. Most countries have more boys among top performers, resulting in a slight overall advantage for boys over girls in average terms. But boys and girls tend to be equally represented among the low-performers.

* Gender differences are larger within schools than they are overall. Girls attend the higher performing, academically oriented tracks and schools at a higher rate than boys but, within schools, girls often perform significantly below boys. Of more concern, girls consistently report lower interest in and enjoyment of mathematics, lower levels of self-confidence and higher levels of anxiety with mathematics, all of which continues to be reflected in subsequent study and occupational patterns. If girls are to be encouraged to go on to study mathematics and related subjects at a higher level, schools will need to do more to build their interest and confidence in mathematics from an early age.

* Student interest in mathematics is far lower, across countries, than in reading. Among OECD countries, about half of the students report being interested in the things they learn in mathematics, but only 38 per cent report that they do mathematics because they enjoy it. On the other hand, the great majority of students believe that studying mathematics will help them in their future.

* At the upper end of the scale, in Belgium, Japan and Korea between 8 and 9 per cent of students - more than double the OECD average - were able to perform the highly complex tasks required to reach Level 6, the top performance level, in mathematics. At the other end of the scale, over a quarter of students are not proficient beyond Level 1 in Italy, Portugal and the United States, over a third in Greece and over half in Mexico and Turkey.


See the report


Countries : 

Rate this content
 
 
 
Average of 101 ratings 
Rating 2.66 / 4 MoyenMoyenMoyenMoyen
Same author:
 flecheObesity Update 2017
 flecheHow’s life?
 flecheBetter international co-ordination could lead to more worldwide benefits from migration
 flecheSingapore tops latest OECD PISA global education survey
 flecheCities will become inequality traps without better housing, transport policies
 flecheGrowing risk of social exclusion among early school leavers
 flecheThe Economic Consequences of Outdoor Air Pollution
 flecheCompare your country: International Migration
 flecheOECD International Migration Outlook 2016
 flecheGovernments must address anti-immigration backlash
 flecheAfrican Economic Outlook 2016
 flecheEnvironmental performance review of France 2016: France will need further effort to meet environmental goals
 flecheOECD Economic outlook
 flecheGlobal economy stuck in low-growth trap: Policymakers need to act to keep promises, OECD says in latest Economic Outlook
 flecheLending to SMEs and entrepreneurs is improving, but more diverse forms of financing are needed
 flecheWorld imports of fake goods worth nearly half a trillion USD a year
 flecheOECD study finds Britons will be paying a heavy “Brexit tax” for many years if UK leaves EU
 flecheDevelopment aid rises again in 2015, spending on refugees doubles
 flecheOECD countries confirm their drive to improve gender equality in public leadership
 flecheFlux de cocaïne
 flecheNew data show importance of quality as well as quantity of jobs and how both evolved during crisis
 flechePolitical finance needs tighter regulation and enforcement
 flecheA boost to transparency in international tax matters: 31 countries sign tax co-operation agreement to enable automatic sharing of country by country information
 flecheFurther reforms needed to tackle growing risk of pensioner poverty
 flecheSpain’s future prosperity depends on raising skill levels and removing barriers to employment
 flecheCountries should address disruptive effects of the digital economy
 flecheDiscrimination and poor job prospects hit children of immigrants
 flecheMore than 3 million German emigrants in OECD countries
 flecheAction is needed to secure future livelihoods in developed and emerging economies, says the OECD Development Centre
 flecheLow oil prices and monetary easing triggering modest acceleration of global recovery
 flecheEarly gender gaps drive career choices and employment opportunities
 flecheShifts in migration underline need for policy reform, says OECD
 flecheAsia/Pacific countries need to improve affordable access to healthcare, says OECD
 flecheComprehensive action needed to shift the global economy into higher gear, says OECD in latest Economic Outlook
 flechePoorer regions struggling to catch up in advanced economies, says OECD
 flecheEmployment
 flecheOECD releases first BEPS recommendations to G20 for international approach to combat tax avoidance by multinationals
 flecheProgress made but Chile should better detect and thoroughly investigate foreign bribery, says OECD
 flecheAmbitious structural reforms can pave the return to strong and sustainable growth, OECD says
 flecheEmployment situation, third quarter 2013, OECD
 flecheLatin America: Tax revenues continue to rise, but are low and varied among countries, according to new OECD-ECLAC-CIAT report
 flecheAsian countries top OECD’s latest PISA survey on state of global education
 flecheOECD Employment Outlook
 flecheGlobal economy advancing but pace of recovery varies, says OECD Economic Outlook
 flecheGlobal economy is improving but Europe lags behind, says OECD
 flecheGlobal portal on product recalls
 flecheInternet firms driving information technology industry growth, says OECD
 flecheInternational Economic Forum on Africa (4 October 2012, Paris - France)
 flecheAgriculture: Increased productivity and a more sustainable food system will improve global food security OECD and FAO publish new Agricultural Outlook
 flecheEconomy: migration starting to rebound, says OECD
 flecheCreate Your Better Life Index
 flecheGrowth in health spending grinds to a halt
 flecheTowards Green Growth: Monitoring Progress - OECD Indicators
 flecheWater: Balancing demand
 flecheReducing inequality while boosting economic growth is possible, says OECD
 flecheEconomy: Global shocks to become more frequent, says OECD
 flecheEnvironment: Green and growth go together
 flecheKorea and Finland top OECD’s latest PISA survey of education performance
 flecheEnvironmental taxation can spur innovation, says OECD
 flecheHealth: OECD says governments must fight fat
 flecheOECD iLibrary: New platform delivers integrated access to OECD’s knowledge base
 flecheEconomy: Recovery slowing amid increased uncertainty, says interim economic assessment
 flecheDeveloping countries set to account for nearly 60% of world GDP by 2030, according to new estimates
 flecheEconomy : G20 keeps investment flows open, but continued vigilance needed, say OECD, UNCTAD
 flecheDevelopment aid rose in 2009 and most donors will meet 2010 aid targets
 flecheWater: The right price can encourage efficiency and investment
 flecheDonors’ mixed aid performance for 2010 sparks concern
 flecheSqueeze on public budgets boosting e-government, says OECD
 flecheGurría calls for ‘new generation’ of statistics to reinforce public confidence in government
 flecheOECD welcomes experts’ call on need for new measures of social progress
 flecheOECD Global Forum consolidates tax evasion revolution in advance of Pittsburgh
 flecheKeep doors open to migrant workers to meet long-term labour needs, says OECD
 flecheOECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS)
 flecheDevelopment Aid at its highest level ever in 2008
 fleche10th OECD forum (23-24 june 2009, Paris)
 flecheCrisis is an opportunity to revive trade reforms, says OECD report
 flecheRebalancing the world Economy: OECD development co-operation report 2009
 flecheOECD composite leading indicators fall to lowest levels since 1970s
 flecheIncome inequality and poverty rising in most OECD countries
 flecheFinancial centres become more transparent, but information exchange remains a problem for some
 flecheTailor immigration policies to future needs, says OECD
 flecheBiofuel policies in OECD countries costly and ineffective, says report
 flecheLabour market discrimination still a big problem in OECD countries
 flecheFarm policy reform urgent amid rising world food prices
 flecheOECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2008-2017 - Highlights
 flecheOECD countries stay open to commercial investments by sovereign wealth funds
 flecheDebt Relief is down: other ODA rises slightly
 flecheOECD Environmental Outlook to 2030 - Summary
 fleche2008 OECD Environmental Outlook - How much will it cost to address today's key environmental problems?
 flecheHelping immigrants integrate better into society must become a priority, says OECD Secretary-General
 flecheGovernments must do more to help workers adapt to new global economy, says OECD
 flecheOECD Employment Outlook - 2007 Edition - Summary
 flecheOECD Employment Outlook 2007 - Statistical Annex
 flecheIntergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage: Mobility or Immobility across Generations? A Review of the Evidence for OECD Countries
 flecheInternational migration to OECD countries continues to grow in response to labour needs
 flecheReport "Giving Knowledge for Free: The Emergence of Open Educational Resources"
 flecheOpen Educational Resources bring new opportunities, challenges
 flecheOECD annual ministerial meeting to discuss globalisation, innovation and trade (Paris on 15-16 May 2007)
 flecheOECD warns against reform complacency as new report highlights priorities for action
 flecheThe Euro area - will the recovery last?
 flecheOECD Global Forum on International Investment “Enhancing the investment climate: the case of infrastructure”
 flecheMore OECD countries focusing on early childhood as key to education success
 flecheThe Gender, Institutions and Development Data Base
 flecheOECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook - 2006-2015
 flecheAfrican Economic Outlook 2005/2006: Economic prospects improve in much of Africa, though transportation remains a problem
 flecheOECD Forum 2006 : "Balacing Globalisation" (Paris, 22-23 May 2006)
 flecheL’OCDE incite les pouvoirs publics et l’industrie à intensifier la lutte contre le spam
 flecheMinisters look to integrate environment protection with development aid 3 - 5 April at OECD headquarters
 flecheLes élèves qui maîtrisent l’informatique obtiennent de meilleurs scores à l'école
 flecheOECD Handbook on Economic Globalisation Indicators
 flecheConference on the future digital economy: digital content creation, distribution and access (30-31 January 2006, Rome - Italy)
 flecheOECD and the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference
 flecheLess robust than meets the eye?
 flecheOECD urges freer trade combined with structural adjustment to reap benefits from globalisation
 flecheGlobal scientific research project launched to improve understanding of the human brain
 flecheEconomic Survey of the Euro Area 2005
 flecheOECD countries warn of continuing shortfalls in insurance coverage against terrorism
 flecheOECD urges governments to work with social partners on teacher policy
 flecheOECD urges more dynamic employment policies as response to globalisation
 flecheAgriculture export competition will intensify, with rising share of trade by developing countries
 flecheHigh-Level Meeting of the OECD Committee for Agriculture, 14-15 June 2005 - Chair Franz Fischler's Summary
 flecheBrazil, China, India and South Africa to tackle food and agriculture challenges with OECD
 flecheOECD Ministerial Council Meeting, 3-4 May 2005, Chair’s Summary
 flecheOECD environmental performance review of France - A positive but demanding assessment
 flecheCentral Asia since 1991 - The Experience of the New Independent States
 flecheLand, Violent Conflict and Development
 flecheThe Impact of Social Institutions on the Economic Role of Women in Developing Countries
 flecheLa condition des femmes en Inde, Kenya, Soudan et Tunisie
 flecheDecentralisation and Poverty in Developing Countries: Exploring the Impact
 flecheData base on immigrants and expatriates
 flecheDonnées environnementales
 flecheStructure and Trends in International Trade in Services
 flecheWorld trade / 2002- 2004
 flecheOECD Releases New GDP Comparisons Based on 2002 Purchasing Power Parities
 flecheJohnston, Donald J.
 flecheOECD Governments, Insurers Clarify the Definition of Terrorism for Insurance Purposes
 flecheCT Access now Widespread but Laggard Users Risk New Digital Divide, Warns OECD
 flechePISA 2003
 flecheBhagwati, Jagdish
 flecheTruly global
 flecheOECD's Environmental Performance Review of Sweden
 flecheOECD International Trade Statistics - Trends in Second Quarter 2004
 flecheEducation Levels Rising in OECD Countries but Low Attainment Still Hampers Some
 flecheOECD Economic Outlook - may 2004
 flecheAnalyse des politiques d'éducation
 flecheOECD Task Force to Coordinate Fight against Spam
 flecheFrance Needs More Regulatory Reform to Strengthen its Economy, Says OECD
 flecheOECD Countries are not on Track to Meet their Environmental Commitments
 flecheEnvironment Ministers to Meet at OECD 19-21 April 2004
 flecheOECD Backs Broadband for Economic and Social Development
 flecheActivites de lutte contre la corruption en Europe de l'Est et central
 flecheScience, Technology and Innovation for the 21st Century. Meeting of the OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy at Ministerial Level, 29-30 January 2004
 flecheDeclaration by the Heads of the IMF, OECD and World Bank
 flecheOECD Report Warns of Growing Risk of Teacher Shortages in OECD Countries
 flecheCompetition in the spotlight
 flecheL'OCDE incite les gouvernements à rendre leurs systèmes fiscaux plus efficaces
13
SEARCH
Keywords   go
in 
Translate this page Traduire par Google Translate
Share

Share on Facebook
FACEBOOK
Partager sur Twitter
TWITTER
Share on Google+Google + Share on LinkedInLinkedIn
Partager sur MessengerMessenger Partager sur BloggerBlogger
Other items
where is published this article: