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Book part
Publication date: 5 May 2017

Steven Lewis

This chapter focuses on a new school-level instrument for international benchmarking and policy learning – the OECD’s PISA-based Test for Schools (“PISA for Schools”) …

Abstract

This chapter focuses on a new school-level instrument for international benchmarking and policy learning – the OECD’s PISA-based Test for Schools (“PISA for Schools”) – and how it helps to constitute new global spaces and relations of education policymaking and governance. Unlike main PISA, PISA for Schools assesses school performance in reading, mathematics, and science against the schooling systems measured by the main PISA test. Schools are thus positioned within a globally commensurate space of measurement and comparison, and are encouraged to engage with, and learn from, the policy expertise proffered by “high-performing” international schooling systems and the OECD itself. Drawing suggestively across literature and theorizing around new spatialities associated with globalization, the “becoming topological” of culture and “power-topologies,” and informed by document analysis and interviews with 33 policy actors from across the PISA for Schools policy cycle, the chapter examines how PISA for Schools helps the OECD to directly “reach into” local schooling spaces. This respatialized PISA for Schools, or “PISA to Schools”, provides the OECD with the means to influence how schooling is practised and conceived at the level of local policy implementation, while limiting mediation by national and/or subnational politics. Moreover, the school-to-system performance comparisons enabled by PISA for Schools arguably provide one of the first – if not the only – international data-driven catalysts of school-level reform. This furthers the relevance and diffusion of “lessons” from main PISA and the OECD to schools themselves, and helps extend the epistemic communities through which the OECD practices its global epistemological governance of education.

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The Impact of the OECD on Education Worldwide
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-539-3

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Haiyan Qian and Allan David Walker

The purpose of this paper is threefold: to sketch the current policy context that frames the education of migrant children in Shanghai; to explore the work lives of school…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold: to sketch the current policy context that frames the education of migrant children in Shanghai; to explore the work lives of school leaders in the privately owned but government-supported schools; and to understand the socio-cultural and educational factors that shape the leadership practices in these schools.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper drew from publicly accessible policy papers and interview data with four principals leading migrant children’s schools in Shanghai.

Findings

Migrant children’s schools have received increasing policy recognition and attention. Principals of these schools have strived to adopt various leadership strategies to enhance the quality of education as received by migrant children. However, due to the institutional barriers such as hukou, multiple challenges continue to face migrant children and leaders leading migrant schools.

Originality/value

This is one of the first few papers that collected data from principals leading migrant children’s schools. The paper contributes to further understandings about leadership in high-needs school context and about education quality and equity in relation to programme for international student assessment success in Shanghai.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Henry H. Bi

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) measured 15-year-olds’ performance in mathematics, reading, and science. The purpose of this paper is to use the…

Abstract

Purpose

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) measured 15-year-olds’ performance in mathematics, reading, and science. The purpose of this paper is to use the assessment results of PISA 2006, 2009, and 2012 to benchmark the compulsory education performance of 65 countries and economies with emphasis on two benchmarking steps: identifying benchmarks and determining performance gaps.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a multi-criterion and multi-period performance categorization method to identify a group of best performers as benchmarks. Then, the authors use two-sample t-tests to detect against benchmarks whether each country or economy has significant performance gaps on individual performance measures.

Findings

Based on the mean scores of three assessment subjects in PISA 2006, 2009, and 2012, six best performers (Top-6) are identified from 65 participating countries and economies. In comparison with Top-6’s weighted averages, performance gaps are found for most countries and economies on the mean score of each subject, the percentage of top-performing students in all three subjects, and the percentage of lowest-performing students in each subject.

Originality/value

For compulsory education systems around the world, this paper provides an original categorization of performance based on the results of three PISA cycles, and provides new insights for countries and economies to prioritize improvement efforts to increase average performance, pursue excellence, and tackle low performance. For benchmarking applications involving multi-criterion and multi-period data, this paper presents a novel method of using statistical control charts to identify benchmarks and then using two-sample t-tests to determine performance gaps on individual performance measures.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 30 June 2020

CM Hugues D. Gill and Elizaveta Berezina

The three neighbouring nations of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore participated in the 2009, 2012 and 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) cycles…

Abstract

Purpose

The three neighbouring nations of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore participated in the 2009, 2012 and 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) cycles. Despite many similarities between the three nations, Singapore has consistently been a top PISA performer, with Malaysia and Indonesia in the bottom third of the international league tables. This paper aims to sketch the comparative Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) context and uses PISA-derived metrics to contrast how differences in decision-making and school leadership, particularly in relation to staff development and training practices, may impact school performance across Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Design/methodology/approach

Ten scales from the 2015 PISA School Questionnaire for Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia were analysed using ANOVA and t-tests as an aid to exploring the extent to which different approaches to teacher training, school leadership and governance may impact student performance.

Findings

Although Malaysian and Indonesian school principals report higher levels of autonomy than Singaporean peers, other evidence suggests that schools in Singapore may actually have greater decision latitude. Most significantly, Singaporean teachers take responsibility for key staff development decisions and skills transfer, whereas in Indonesia and Malaysia, teacher training is controlled by government administrators, a factor that may be a critical differentiator between the school systems.

Practical implications

In Singapore, teacher training is controlled by and for teachers through professional learning teams within schools and professional learning communities across schools; in Malaysia and Indonesia, similar decisions are taken by external administrators. Giving Malaysian and Indonesian teachers control over their own training could be a simple and powerful reform to target skills gaps and to generalise improvements in pedagogy quickly across schools and thus to lift school performance in these countries.

Originality/value

This paper highlights how differences at systemic and school levels, particularly in approaches to teacher training and leadership and may explain differentials in school performance in three ASEAN education systems.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 45 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

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Book part
Publication date: 3 July 2018

Tuomas Takala, Johanna Kallo, Jaakko Kauko and Risto Rinne

In the field of comparative education there is a vast and growing amount of research on how education policy agendas are formed at the transnational level, and how these…

Abstract

In the field of comparative education there is a vast and growing amount of research on how education policy agendas are formed at the transnational level, and how these may influence policymaking in individual countries. Particularly the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) play an important role in the dissemination of education policies. This article seeked to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of how the two organizations have formulated their policy advice concerning quality assurance and evaluation of school education toward the intended beneficiaries of such advice, either in standardized form or taking into account local contexts. The case countries were Brazil, China, and Russia (BCR), which in terms of their political power and economic resources differ from the typical World Bank client countries, but at the same time are not OECD members. Our data consisted of World Bank and OECD publications from the three BCR countries published during two decades from the mid-1990s onward. The document analysis was complemented by some factual information gained through interviews of relevant actors. In the analyzed material prescriptions given in the tone of “international best practice” were predominant. This position saw the quality of education as a concept that has a globally applicable definition. In addition, the advice directed at Russia and China has in an ambivalent manner acknowledged the sociocultural context of the concept of quality in the national pedagogical tradition.

Details

Cross-nationally Comparative, Evidence-based Educational Policymaking and Reform
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-767-8

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Abstract

Details

Leading Education Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-130-3

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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Oren Pizmony-Levy, James Harvey, William H. Schmidt, Richard Noonan, Laura Engel, Michael J. Feuer, Henry Braun, Carla Santorno, Iris C. Rotberg, Paul Ash, Madhabi Chatterji and Judith Torney-Purta

This paper presents a moderated discussion on popular misconceptions, benefits and limitations of International Large-Scale Assessment (ILSA) programs, clarifying how ILSA…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper presents a moderated discussion on popular misconceptions, benefits and limitations of International Large-Scale Assessment (ILSA) programs, clarifying how ILSA results could be more appropriately interpreted and used in public policy contexts in the USA and elsewhere in the world.

Design/methodology/approach

To bring key issues, points-of-view and recommendations on the theme to light, the method used is a “moderated policy discussion”. Nine commentaries were invited to represent voices of leading ILSA scholars/researchers and measurement experts, juxtaposed against views of prominent leaders of education systems in the USA that participate in ILSA programs. The discussion is excerpted from a recent blog published by Education Week. It is moderated with introductory remarks from the guest editor and concluding recommendations from an ILSA researcher who did not participate in the original blog. References and author biographies are presented at the end of the article.

Findings

Together, the commentaries address historical, methodological, socio-political and policy issues surrounding ILSA programs vis-à-vis the major goals of education and larger societal concerns. Authors offer recommendations for improving the international studies themselves and for making reports more transparent for educators and the public to facilitate greater understanding of their purposes, meanings and policy implications.

Originality/value

When assessment policies are implemented from the top down, as is often the case with ILSA program participation, educators and leaders in school systems tend to be left out of the conversation. This article is intended to foster a productive two-way dialogue among key ILSA actors that can serve as a stepping-stone to more concerted policy actions within and across national education systems.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Beatrice L. Bridglall, Jade Caines and Madhabi Chatterji

This policy brief, the second AERI-NEPC eBrief in the series “Understanding validity issues around the world”, focuses on validity as it applies to test-based models of…

Abstract

Purpose

This policy brief, the second AERI-NEPC eBrief in the series “Understanding validity issues around the world”, focuses on validity as it applies to test-based models of evaluation employed for schools, instructional programs, and teachers around the world. It discusses validity issues that could arise when data from student achievement test administrations and other sources are used for conducting personnel appraisals, program evaluations, or for external accountability purposes, suggesting solutions and recommendations for improving validity in such applications of test-based information.

Design/methodology/approach

This policy brief is based on a synthesis of conference proceedings and review of selected pieces of extant literature. It begins by summarizing perspectives of an invited expert panel on the topic. To that synthesis, the authors add their own analysis of key issues. They conclude by offering recommendations for test developers and test users.

Findings

The authors conclude that systematic improvement and transformation of schools depends on thoughtfully conceptualizing, implementing, and using data from testing and broad-based evaluation systems that incorporate multiple kinds of evidence. Evaluation systems that are valid and fair to students, teachers and education leaders need all three of the following: assessment resources and training for all participants and evaluation users; knowledgeable staff to continuously monitor processes and use assessment results appropriately to improve teaching and learning activities; and a strengths-based approach to make improvements to the education system based on relevant data and reports (as opposed to a deficits-based one in which blame or punishment is leveled at individuals or groups of workers when gaps in performance are observed).

Originality/value

To improve validity in interpretations of results from test-based teacher and school evaluation models, the authors provide recommendations for measurement and evaluation specialists as well as for educators, policy makers, and public users of data. Standardized test use in formative and more “high stakes” educational accountability contexts is rapidly spreading to various regions of the world. This eBrief shows that understandings of validity are still uneven among key stakeholders. By translating complex information pertinent to current validity issues, this policy brief attempts to address this need, and also bridge knowledge and communications gaps among different constituencies.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Book part
Publication date: 30 December 2011

Alexander W. Wiseman and Tiedan Huang

As China's educational policy and reforms continue to evolve and adjust to shifting social, economic, and political conditions, this chapter provides a template for…

Abstract

As China's educational policy and reforms continue to evolve and adjust to shifting social, economic, and political conditions, this chapter provides a template for conceptually framing education research on and in China. To do so this chapter first identifies focus areas in comparative education research related to China, which reflect researcher perspective, perceived advantage, and demonstrated resistance to these educational policy reforms. The authors develop a conceptual framework for comparatively understanding education research on and in China, which focuses on the intersection of comparative education themes, institutional change agents or methods, and Chinese educational reform topics. This conceptual framework specifically accounts for overlap, complexity, and the evolving nature of educational policy reform in China. This chapter concludes by emphasizing the importance of comparative education researchers, national policymakers, and consumers of the research using new data and methods as they become available to continue to revise understandings of Chinese educational policy and reform.

Details

The Impact and Transformation of Education Policy in China
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-186-2

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2012

Gaoming Zhang, Yong Zhao and Jing Lei

In recent years, innovative and entrepreneurial efforts have flourished in China's education sector to meet the rising demand of an increasingly wealthier population and a

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Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, innovative and entrepreneurial efforts have flourished in China's education sector to meet the rising demand of an increasingly wealthier population and a nation determined to transform from a labor‐intensive economy into one powered by knowledge and innovations. Issue 4 of this volume of On the Horizon will present a collection of articles that document and analyze some of the most influential innovations and entrepreneurial activities in China's education sector. As an introductory piece to the themed issue, this article aims to provide some context information of educational innovations in China.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a commentary on educational innovations in China. By reviewing the literature on comparative education and analyzing real cases, this article analyzes two factors that may easily lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretation of education in China: contradictions and egocentrism.

Findings

Questions that are addressed include why education in China gets more and more attention nowadays from educators around the world and what problems those educational innovations attempt to solve.

Originality/value

This article provides insight into educational innovations in China in two ways. First, it presents an overview of recent educational innovations in China. Second, it provides two important strategies to help readers better understand educational innovations in China – how to understand contradictions and how to increase the awareness of egocentrism.

1 – 10 of 138